1. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    When the character's hidden agenda is an easy guess?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by peachalulu, Jun 12, 2012.

    I've been trying to discover why my character is in a situation and ,unfortunately, I can only come up with reasons, anyone reading the story can guess. I want to keep it slightly shocking without being unbelievable, or too easy to guess.

    Here's an example of what I mean - hero has joined a group he's against ( say a bunch of robbers ) though the leader of the gang is suspicious , his own past could be making him misinterpret the hero's actions - normally the reveal would be easy - that the hero is an undercover cop or is stealing for a worthy cause.

    I guess what I'm asking is - has anyone been okay with a character's easy to guess agenda? or are they okay with the agenda never being fully revealed - the hero's motives remain obscure to the end?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do you want to keep the agenda hidden? I'd be trying the whole time to figure out *why* the hero joined a group if he's against it. If I never found out, I think I'd be unsatisfied and frustrated. I don't think it's so problematic to have the hidden agenda easy to figure out. I think what's more interesting is the character's grappling with the conflicts between his own agenda and the agenda he has to embrace, which may conflict with his own moral code or his own goals, and how he resolves that conflict.
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Hero's motives remaining obscure is a bad idea, because motive of the main character is one of the core elements for a successful conflict/plot development. So, an "easy to guess agenda" is much better.
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    What if he only appears to be the hero? the conflict is mainly between the 'hero' and the leader of the gang. What if they are so closely paced - the reader is unsure who the hero is -
    oh boy , am I getting too complicated?
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There's nothing intrinsically wrong with leaving the protagonist's motives obscure, or even questionable.

    Is Batman driven by a need for justice, or for vengeance? Is Mr. Roarke of Fantasy Island an agent of good, or is he in league with the Devil?

    It is your choice whether to reveal real motivations from the start, at the end, or to leave them in doubt.
     
  6. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Doesn't matter if the character is the protagonist or the antagonist, he should have a motive. The story might end up going nowhere without it. You can have their motives revealed from the beginning and still have a blurr line between the protag and the antag. Explore the grey areas in their characters and make them rounded characters.
     

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