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  1. mVd

    mVd Member

    Apr 17, 2012
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    Breaking away from the normal style of writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mVd, Apr 25, 2012.

    Hello. I was wondering if there has been a discussion on this topic already. Basically what i see in this forum is a lot of stories in the style of "protagonist vs antagonist" or "good vs evil" writing.
    But what if there could be more in the style of writing that for example A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin has written. In those books there are no "protagonist vs antagonist" or "good vs evil", instead it leaves a bit to the readers to judge who is evil and who is not, but it is not written out plainly.

    My question is, why couldnt we have more of such style of writing in this forum?
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    No reason at all. But you can't force everyone to avoid the black and white dichotomies.

    There are many who are stuck on thinking in absolute terms like hero vs villain. That rigid a mindset is purely evil.
  3. ClusterChuck

    ClusterChuck Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2011
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    Right up my side street. I know there are tons of chatter on this site on the unconventional. You'll definitely get a good pool of opinions which is always good. If your interested you could check out a novella excerpt I got up in the Novel forum under "By Water" i just updated. For sure an unconventional piece. If you'd pardon the plug.

    I love the westero novels by the way.

    You'd really like some of Niel Gaiman work. Most of his conflict is much more complicated than the hero vs. beast dynamic. Such as 'American Gods': Old gods (Odin, ester, thor, etc.) brought in to the american melting pot find themself losing strength. They band together to fight the influence of the new gods: (media, internet, the highway, etc.) All fighting for the hearts and minds of the american psyche. The protaganist is a half god son of old odin just trying to align balance. I eat stuff like this up. And his 'Sandman' graphic novels are truly art of the highest calibur.

    As to the content of the site keep reading you'll find some very interesting writers. And maybe some that just need that extra nudge. This is primarily a workshop site so...
  4. jwatson

    jwatson Active Member

    Jul 16, 2009
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    Mainstream, popular literature is that 'good vs. evil' stuff that you're describing. I've read A Song of Ice and Fire, and I know exactly what you mean. The reason most people discuss literature in that protagonist/antagonist form is because that's primarily the type of literature that society accepts.

    For me, I feel that going against those popular conventions is how you write a very good piece. You need to stand out to be successful, like Martin did.
  5. Ettina

    Ettina Active Member

    Nov 21, 2011
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    I seldom have a clear good guy/bad guy thing. I suspect my readers may, in some cases, think the sides are clear, but I have sympathy for both sides.

    For example in one story, the protagonist is a boy who can absorb magic, and he's extremely cold and calculating and was willing to kill his own mother because she unwittingly posed a threat to him. (Admittedly, he was very upset about this and he didn't have any good alternatives, but still.) His antagonists are, in general, much nicer people than him. The main antagonist is a police officer who secretly deals with supernatural crimes, his biggest defining trait is his loyalty to his partner (who gets captured and mind-controlled by the protagonist).

    I'm suspecting most people will consider it a villain protagonist story. But personally, I have sympathy for both sides. I wouldn't have been able to write them otherwise.
  6. thecoopertempleclause

    thecoopertempleclause Contributing Member

    Apr 13, 2012
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    Cornwall, UK
    I'd go for the anti-hero label myself, since he's obviously of the volition that the end justifies the means.
  7. Cassiopeia Phoenix

    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

    Mar 13, 2012
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    Remember that protagonist vs. antagonist is not the same as good vs. evil or hero vs. villain. In my opinion, protagonist vs. antagonist has somehow to exist as a form to create conflict in your story, but the morality of both parts is up to you to write, and in R.R. Martin's novels I see the switch of POV as putting a character as a protagonist and another one as a antagonist even though no one is actually the mighty hero and no one is the evil villain... But there are endless ways to write anyway.

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