1. Vignesh Ramakrishnan
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    Vignesh Ramakrishnan New Member

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    What motivates an Antagonist?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Vignesh Ramakrishnan, Sep 2, 2016.

    I'm writing a sci-fiction novel, it's centered around Virtual reality. The antagonist creates the VR device, so that disputes can be solved without bloodshed or war. But for doing that, he lets a few thousand people go to coma. The protagonist wants to stop the Antagonist to save his friends. Does this make for a good antagonist. I felt this would paint the characters in shades of grey, rather than separating them completely as good or bad. How interesting is this? Please do tell me.
     
  2. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    I believe this has already been done in anime form. I have not watched Sword Art Online but what I've heard of it seems very similar to your idea. Sadly this has also happened to many of my ideas, I think of something and it turns out to be similar to an already existing idea.
    The idea is still interesting though, just may need some tweaking.
    As for the antagonist, why exactly does he have any disputes? I get that he might not want to kill but what exactly is this dispute he doesn't wish to kill for? Also think about his history, why is it he doesn't like killing? What makes him think putting thousands of people in comas is any better?
    I know I've just thrown a load more questions back at you but I hope they'll help you.
     
  3. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I think the stories that receive more acclaim tend not walk the line of the good v's evil trope. Instead they portray all the facets of the opposing characters and get a reader to understand (if not empathise) with their agendas. The way you describe your plot; it seems your antagonist believes he is on the side of good with his motivation that of avoiding real-world conflict. I'd only see him as being the villain if he delighted in making his subjects comatose and continued with this agenda.

    Indeed your protagonist could even be thought to be on the side of wrong if by waking the dormant folk they then take to battling out their differences more tangibly.

    So grey? Yes
    Interesting? Could be
     
  4. Vignesh Ramakrishnan
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    Vignesh Ramakrishnan New Member

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    The antagonist wants to avoid killing because, he was stuck in a war struck village, he lost his parents to the war. And also, he feels that a few thousand people in coma, is collateral damage when compared to the millions of lives, he thinks he can save. And also, thank you for those questions. They have helped me :D
     
    I.A. By the Barn likes this.
  5. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've come to believe that any fiction is better when both antagonist and protagonist have strong and 'right-minded' motivations. In other words, when the reader can see the sense in both sides, it's like watching a prize fight where both opponents are equally matched and the outcome is unsure. Talk about suspense!

    It's only when, late in the story, that the antagonist refuses to budge, but the protagonist embraces necessary change that we start to suspect who should actually win the battle.

    Not that I live up to that in my own work. :) It's a challenge I have yet to take on.
     
  6. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    What about a story where both the protagonist and antagonist are objectively wrong?

    *Drops mic* Trips on mic* Dies*
     
  7. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds like it would be hard to get the reader to care about anyone. No one wants to bet on a lame horse. :)
     
  8. Vignesh Ramakrishnan
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    Vignesh Ramakrishnan New Member

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    Not quite. There are really cool satires in the form of films. In which both the protagonist and antagonist are wrong
     

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