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  1. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    To Kill a Villain

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JTheGreat, May 15, 2010.

    This is more of an opinion thing.

    In my story, the antagonist will most likely die. But, there are so many characters that could be candidates for that. In a sense, a lot of people have a bone to pick with this guy. Please just tell me which option you'd find most effective.

    1: Love interest kills him. She is a master strategist, and although she really DOES love him, she knows that it would be more advantagous to have him eliminated.

    2: Chekhov's Gun kills him. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, this character is a princess who is mentioned simply and without much delving into early in the story, until she comes back in the end to finish the antagonist off. Good for surprise.

    3: Protagonist kills him. This option is included because it would give the best sense of conflict resolution.

    To rephrase this, which endings do you most prefer: ones that make you think, ones that surprise you, or ones you find satisfying?
     
  2. hyperspace!
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    hyperspace! Member

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    I like the Chekhov's Gun idea, unless she was just some super minor character who was mentioned once and never seen again. If we don't remember who she was, it'll seem to come out of nowhere.
     
  3. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    I like the first option best, the love interest killing him. It's oddly poetic, and it's a little more interesting than just the protagonist doing it. Unless there's some good reason for the protagonist to do so outside of him just being the villain.

    The Chekhov's Gun seems kind of cheap to me. I don't think it would satisfy me that much.
     
  4. Afterburner
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    Afterburner Active Member

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    I vote option two or three. Chekhov's Gun sounds cool. I like being surprised in a book. However, it always feels good when you see the protagonist win in the end.
     
  5. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    1) I'll go with his love interest killing him...... there can be a surprise element in this too.

    2) Sounds pretty much doing it for the sake of the surprise element.

    3) very predictable....... but this is okay too.
     
  6. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    I've read a story where the MC is killed off by Chekovs Gun. It was very surprising I must say. The only issue I had with it was that it was too random. I didn't feel like killer had a good enough reason so it can be tricky. I think it was because it was such a minor character.
     
  7. Lankin
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    Lankin Member

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    I'm in favor of the Chekov's Gun variety. You could even hint a happy ending with his love interest, making the reader think that perhaps the antagonist is getting away with it all -- to stress the surprise element.
    The victory of the protagonist does not have to be as physical as actually killing the antagonist. There are more subtle ways, though of course there is something to be said for that very physical variety. Makes of course seem the protagonist appear strongest, so surely it is the most satisfying variety -- for the protagonist. If it is for the reader -- depends on the particular reader I'd say.
     
  8. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    Option 2 isn't THAT random. Earlier in the story, the princess does have vindictive tendencies, and also claims revenge on the antagonist.
     
  9. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    The problem with this type of question, IMO, is that we don't know the story and we really don't know the chars.

    Here's some thoughts:

    If the lover kills him, does the princess become a more or less meaningless character? Her threat only fills space? I mean, if she doesn't kill him--do we need some sort of resolution with her anger toward him?

    If the princess kills him, does that leave the protagonist somewhat weak? Does it leave his story finished "for him"?

    If the protagonist kills him, again, what sort of ending is that for the princess and the lover? Yes, not every loose end needs tied up, but you don't want to leave untied the rope holding the anchor.

    Just thoughts.

    Best luck,

    //R
     
  10. deltaquid
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    deltaquid Member

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    Wouldn't it be Chekhov's gunman, seeing as it isn't an item but a person?

    I've heard several different terms: Chekhov's gun, gunman, skill, armoury (like the gun, but with an entire suitcase/whatever full of chekhov's guns) and so on.

    That said, unless it's executed well, it'll be more of an ass pull than a plot twist. It would be better if you went with option one or three.
     
  11. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    The one that makes me think. An ending that is satisfying is all good but I would probably read that book an never really think about it again. I like books that are more than just entertainment where the ending does more than just gives me what I want. But it is just my opinion. As far as a surprise, I like little surprises along the way, but I don't need the ending to be a surprise for me to be happy.
     
  12. System-Crashed
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    System-Crashed Member

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    I'm kinda writing this for you but if you kill off the antagonist, please finish off his love interest in heroic self sacrifice for the antagonist.

    Also, make the princess seem like a bad guy in the end.

    You know what? make her die too.

    Rock falls, everyone dies.

    Ahem. In response to your question, have the antagonist kill himself. Why he does it is up to you.
     
  13. Falconjudge
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    Falconjudge Member

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    I like it best when the main character does it. After so much work and crap gone through, it seems almost a responsibility, or rather, a right.
     
  14. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Best suggestion! :D
     
  15. satch
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    satch New Member

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    Hey you know what, our hero after all his troubles and stuff came to kill antagonist. But, there is a twist, if he kills he will die too (for sure) may be a curse. No choice, he is the only one who can do it. Now being a old friend and lover of our hero, Chekhov's Gun come for the kill to save her beloved man. Wait a minute, before its all done, the villains
    love kills him, for a reason.
     

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