1. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Villain or sidekick?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Cassiopeia Phoenix, Apr 13, 2012.

    I've created a character that has been lingering in my mind for about three weeks now but I can quite... Work him out. Said character is a priest and he's the son of the demon Asmodeus -- the demon of lust -- with a prostitute. I have a lot about his backstory, and in my novel he would lurk around the MC, a female doctor with indian descendence who will be involved in a series of... Very interesting crimes.
    But I'm not sure either the half-demon priest would be the "hidden all along" villain or the sidekick.
    If he was the sidekick, obviously I would need a reason why would he be on the good side, since he has superpowers coming from his "dad" and you can picture what powers would he have being son of Asmodeus... Anyhow, I haven't thought about the reason he would be good.
    And I also can't think of what would be his "goal" as a villain. Any ideas regarding this particular matter...?

    If it helps, it's placed in Rome, Italy, in the 80's.
     
  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like him for a sidekick, conflicted, powerful, interesting, always forced to choose between right and wrong and can carry a subplot or two.
     
  3. Lightning
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    Well so far he could be both. It could make a very interesting sidekick, but I can't see any logical reason for him to be a sidekick over a villain. As a villain he needs a goal. To be honest, I don't know enough about the character to say either way, if you don't mind sending me a message I could take a better look at the situation. Sorry :\
     
  4. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    That's exactly the problem. He's not comitting the crimes so he really could go both ways, and I could change his backstory accordingly. But I don't know why he would be good -- and what he could be possibly looking for if he is the villain... Unless that he starts off as a sidekick and then get seduced to the Dark Side because he's half a demon anyway. Hm... It would make an interesting villain/heroine dynamic.
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, as a sidekick ( I don't like this guy for a villain simply because his origins would reek too much of "evil" and then it's not fun. In my opinion, a villain needs to be less obvious and thus more deranged/evil/scary). So, if this guy is to be a sidekick, his motivation to do good might be something like, when he was a child he promised God that if he saves someone important to him (like his little sister) from an illness of something (or any other situation that might work) he will become a priest and serve the good. Since that person is still alive (or a bargain he made with God still relevant) he has his motivation.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A sidekick is a literary device for exposition. The Doctor's companion is the one who doesn't understand what is going on, so the Doctor is forced to explain it. Likewise, Holmes had his Watson to reveal his thoughts to, and thereby illuminate the reader. The Lone Ranger had Tonto, etc etc etc.

    As such, the sidekick is a bit of a cheap stunt, so better writers who came along later gave the sidekick more dimension, and more of an active role in the story. Sometimes, the sidekick would become the damsel or dude in distress, until that too became too formulaic.
     
  7. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    I actually think that he as a sidekick would be more interesting than making him the villain -- as the MC is a highly skeptical atheist and the story would be about her discovering that demons and God are real. But in both scenarios, the half-demon priest will have a large role in the story as in both he introduces her to the idea of demons, and he will also help her with the hunting part of the story until a) the thing which is comitting the crimes is dead and they discover there's something else behind it or b) he's seduced by the Dark Side. The difference is mostly in the background story of the priest and in the end of the novel.

    Also, jazzabel gave good suggestions on why he would be good... Definitely going to think about it.
     
  8. Lightning
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    There's another way to think about it. Think outside the do-decagon (12 sided polygon) and this is what I got. Maybe you could spin the sidekick=>evil into predending to be evil, but dropping subtle hints etc in order to help the main character, and actually be a good character. I just thought that up on the spot, so there are many more possibilities.

    In the end it's your novel and no-one will know it as well as you do, so do what you think is best.
     
  9. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    That's the way I thought he would be in the beginning, because my MC is an atheist and he's a priest, of couse they were not going to work well together. They would actually team up only later in the novel.
     
  10. Mckk
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    You could always determine whether he'd become good or evil by exactly WHY he's lingering around the MC? He must have his reasons for following the MC around. What does he want to know, or to get, or to do? And how does this desire of his weave into your novel?

    He'd make an interesting good guy, mind you, battling with himself against his natural instincts to be evil while in his mind wanting to do good. Very realistic of human nature in general.
     
  11. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Why not make him something of an anti-hero, who isn't like a permanent sidekick for your hero, but someone who helps out every now and then when it suits him. I think this could add a cool layer of mystique to him. For instance imagine that the MC and her friends might need his help for the finale so they have to go to the eerie church where he lives, and persuade him to help out.
     
  12. AJ Winters
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    What about both? If his father was Asmodeus, he could've inherited some of his traits... right? So these traits (such as greed and wrath) cause him to be a villain also. So, he could be helping the MC to take down the villain (or whatever has to be done) - meanwhile, is also out to kill her (or whatever).

    I like to think of Hannibal Lecter; he assisted Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, but at the same time, he was still a cannibal/murderer/sociopath etc.
    Perhaps the MC and Said Character could have this sort of on/off romance, like they snipe at each other and everything Said Character only gives the MC certain information etc, but both are protective of each other and would go out of their way to save each other (for some reason...). Then, maybe at the climax of the story (when she finds out her sidekick is the villain), the MC would be conflicted whether as to kill her best friend/lover/villain in order to 'save humanity' (or whatever she's meant to do).

    On the subject of what characters mean to do, perhaps his motive as a villain would be to murder/torture everyone and anyone (including their families) who's ever... uh... requested the work of a prostitute. Because his mother was a prostitute, Said Character might feel the need to avenge her and every other prostitute in the world etc. That way, the audience would empathize with the villain and said villain does not come across as just a plain, evil, jerk doing such things for the fun of it.

    It may be difficult to keep both his sides a secret, though, especially if you plan to write from the villain's POV, but I think you'd be able to get around such a problem by doing simple things like having him give himself another name in 'sidekick' mode etc. Oooh, also, as his father is Asmodeus, his powers could include changing form, like Asmodeus does e.g. he becomes a different person entirely when he's in 'villain' mode.

    I simply love characters with conflicted motives. I find them so interesting!

    I dunno if I've helped you one bit, but I hope I have.
    Whatever you come up with, I'm sure it'll be good anyway. :)

    AJ
     
  13. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    I'm thinking exactly about both. He's not out there to kill her, exactly, but he's kind of a... Well, he gives me the urge to slap him sometimes. He's trying to hard to be "good" that he ends up being sort of... Bad. His moral compass certainly is not pointing north and he can't see it because he thinks he's being "good". It's a mix: he's there to help, but he's a complete jerk while doing so, borderlining the villainism.

    That rules out the possibility of romance. My MC is bad in his eyes (atheist, hello), and Said Character is bad in her eyes so it's sort of complicated. And your thoughts certainly helped me out! :D
     
  14. Jowettc
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    Perhaps, he abhors his heritage and he is trying desperately NOT to become like his father, but his demonic side keeps surfacing at inopportune moments. Think of his demonic side as a kind of parasitic infestation that he is constantly trying to control or subdue - fighting against the inevitable e.g. Hellboy.

    Then your "sidekick" character is conflicted because if he uses his powers, he risks becoming more demonic, but then he is often called upon to use them to do good: does he, doesn't he? Then you have created both an internal and external conflict that can keep the reader guessing on how far he is going to go and which side of the fence he will fall on?


    Then you can always throw in surprise appearances by his dad, or his dad's emissaries, trying to bring him back into the fold, so to speak. It could all add to the tension.
     
  15. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    What if he's a Poisonous Friend? Maybe he wants to be one of the good guys, but he doesn't always understand human morality, so he keeps doing bad things that help the good guys and leave the MC morally conflicted.
     
  16. funkybassmannick
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    I like it. A lot.

    It seems like he's a character that seems intrinsically good but has some deep-seated wicked features or something. This could work really well as a transformation character. Have your readers fall in love with him, but then start to show him slowly descending down the path to the dark side. Show his transformation happening, and make the readers go "No! Don't do it! Stay good!" Keep them guessing until the climax whether he will turn evil or stay good. If you make it really believable, it would totally keep me hooked.
     
  17. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the ideas guys! Definitely helped a lot, though I'm still stuck concerning my writing abilities to bring to life a character with that particular level of complexity. Well, that comes with the time, I suppose.
     
  18. Phoenix Hikari
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    It would look interesting for him to start as a sidekick and then reveal himself as a villain. I don't mean for him to change heart, just that he remains hidden as a sidekick. I like stories like that. =D
     
  19. Mezza
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    Why does he have to be either villain or side kick? Why couldn't he be a neutral-evil aligned character? He has his own agenda that he's keeping and at times it helps the MC and at times it hinders them. In that way you can make him a tool. Use an internal conflict to twist his actions and let him swing freely.
     
  20. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    Because he's important. While I don't care about his moral code -- after all, all my characters are evil by default -- I need to know in which side he's playing, or otherwise I will be going nowhere with him...
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then perhaps he is neither/both, and you have not yet found HIM.

    Begin with, "What is evil?"
     
  22. Ettina
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    Maybe he teams up with the MC for as long as their interests coincide, while making it clear that he has different goals from her?
     
  23. Mezza
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    So he's important. If you leave him undecided, or unaffiliated then you have something to play with later.
     
  24. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    It is going to take me a long time to write him... However, the advices have been helpful, because I think I'm half way through now :D
     

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