1. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    How could an antagonist kung fu teacher have met an ex soldier

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TheMyst7885, Sep 19, 2019.

    In my story, one of the main villains who became a head chief kung fu instructor who owned his own schools and was a skilled businessman had gotten a few different guys he trained as martial art teachers so they could be instructors for different school locations. One of the instructors he had was a psychotic ex military guy who served missions during Panama Bay and Operation Desert Storm. What's a good reason I could say the bad head chief kung fu instructor "also known as a sifu" could of met this crazy ex military guy that became an instructor for him?
     
  2. Dorafjol

    Dorafjol Member

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    I mean, there are loads of ways this could happen.
    • Perhaps they met in the military?
    • Psycho guy is a former kung fu student.
    • Regular drinking buddies.
    In the end it doesn't really matter. Do you feel like you need to make it a major plot point with flashbacks and all the rest, or are you just throwing it out here? Way more important is how they interact with each other. Now you might base this dynamic in how they met; Drinking buddies probably have a different relationship than a former DI/Recruit. Whatever backstory you might choose, you don't even have to disclose it to the readers if you don't feel like it. Make it interesting or make it lead to interesting things, otherwise don't let it bother you overmuch.
     
  3. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    Well, any reason you like.

    The teacher could have been visiting the USA. The soldier could have been visiting China. The soldier could have heard about the master and challenged him to a duel, got soundly beaten but earned the respect of the master for his potential.

    The master could be teaching at the Shaolin temple where the soldier had gone to learn a new style.

    Think of just about every martial arts film you ever saw, and take elements from them for your inspiration. Watch the martial arts films of the 1960s and 70s, or a series like "Kung Fu" with David Carradine.
     
  4. LadyErica

    LadyErica Active Member

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    I'd go with "anything you like". For instance, I'm a big fan of the Wilde/Chase books by Andy McDermott. In the first one, we have a boring archeologist doing boring archeology stuff. She finds something of value, and gets a former SAS-guy as a body guard. Skip ahead a dozen books, and they're married and have a kid. It really doesn't have to be more complicated than that. :)

    Of course, if you want to add more flavor to the story, I've always liked bad guys who think they are doing the right think, rather than being evil just for the sake of being evil. And if that's the case, the soldier might not be evil, either. Or at least, he might not see himself as evil. Maybe he was just a soldier following orders, even if those orders were a bit on the questionable side. As a soldier, you're not supposed to think for yourself. So if your superiors tells you to kill a civilian, do you really question the order? Some do, some don't. Some goes through with it, some don't. Who can say what the right thing to do is? He's a civilian, yes, but that doesn't mean he isn't working for the enemy. He could be developing a powerful weapon the enemies want to use on you, so killing the civilian can prevent a lot of unnecessary death. Or maybe he's just a civilian. But if you're a soldier, your job isn't to ask questions. Your job is to do what you're told. So maybe the ex-soldier did just that, and followed orders blindly? He did a lot of evil stuff, and he didn't have a problem with any of it. It wasn't his problem.

    Then, later in the story, maybe the kung fu guy use him to train others, knowing quite well how ruthless he can be? Don't worry, I'm not trying to redeem the ex-soldier or anything. I'm just saying he might not be quite as evil as it might seem at first. Think something like Rambo. The Vietnam war was over decades ago, but it will always continue in his head, and he has a big problem dealing with ordinary life because of it. As a microspoiler from Last Blood, it sometimes makes me wonder if Rambo in the movies are a good guy or bad guy. How far down towards evil can you possibly go, and still be considered a good guy? If you can figure out that, I think the story would be a lot more interesting for me, personally. But it's your story, and I'm not going to try to write it for you. I'm too busy not writing my own stories. :D:oops:
     
  5. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    I appreciate your advice, but this is only one possible backstory for one of the antagonists who is basically an ex military ex mercenary who gets hired by this shady kung fu businessman to work for one of his dojos. He's basically a hired merc that teaches students down the wrong path along with other hirees that are doing work for this martial arts owner with bad intuitions. There are certain antagonists that I plan to have with some tragic backstory but these in particular wouldn't really have that much redeeming qualities, I mean maybe I could say the military guy was suffering some crazy PTSD a bit with the intention of believing you must destroy all enemies, treat everyone like this is a war, etc, like a sinister more darker version of Rambo you could say with less redeeming qualities or more like the main villain Colonel Miles Quaritch from Avatar movie . But I don't think I have to go that deep to making him someone others would truly wanna relate to and truly sympathize with.
     
  6. LadyErica

    LadyErica Active Member

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    That's understandable. And I don't know your story or characters other than from this thread, so it's a bit hard to give better advice. That said, have you read First Blood? The book Rambo is based on? If not, you really should. Not only is it a great book on its own, but it shows a very different Rambo than we see in the movies. I'm noit going to spoil anything, but the whole point in the story is that Rambo has been kicked out of town after town after he got home from the war, and for what? Being a drifter? That's not illegal. All he wanted was to be left alone.

    However, the sheriff in town is a veteran from the Koraen war, and he knows if Rambo is allowed to settle down there, other will follow. He also knows people like Rambo often bring trouble with them, and he wants to prove to everyone that he can keep the town safe. One thing leads to another, and we have Rambo on the run, just like in the movie. But unlike in the movie, things do not go quite as easy. It doesn't take long before the first person dies, and then all hell breaks loose. The cops are trying to drive Rambo out of town with any means necessary, even if it means killing him. But as an Vietnam vet, Rambo doesn't take likely on being shot at, so he fights back with everything he's got. Meaning killing police officers. Lots of them. The real problem then is that the sheriff still wants to capture Rambo, to prove HE is the one in charge, not Rambo. Even if that means even more people will die. And trust me, they will. :)

    The point is, Rambo certainly has a reason to stay in town in the book, and he can sometimes be considered a hero. But we can't avoid the question whether the ends justify the means, and in many ways, he's the villain of the story. The sheriff is more or less directly responsible for the death of a lot of other police men, and a lot of the conflict could easily have been avoided, if he had backed down and let Rambo leave peacefully. But he doesn't, so although he means well (he wants to prove the town is safe with him as the sheriff), he's also going into villain mode. So in the end, they are both the hero, and both the villain.

    There is more too the story than that, but I highly recommend reading it. I think it's a perfect example of an ex-soldier who starts out as a hero, but quickly turns into a real villain. I'm not saying your ex-soldier should be a hero at first, only that First Blood can be a pretty good example of how to make a villain that says the villain through the whole story, and yet is also someone we can relate to.

    BTW just for refence, Rambo didn't kill anyone at all in the first movie. Only one person died, and that was an accident.
     
  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    By the way - you know a kung fu school wouldn't be called a dojo, right? Dojo is a Japanese word, not Chinese. So is sensei.
     
  8. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Yes true, I think once I give a better description of my characters it will be easier to understand more what they are about.

    I've seen the movies but haven't read the book yet bit I heard lots about it and why the Rambo character differs from the films. I definitely plan on checking it out. The interesting thing you mentioned about the book version of Rambo is he is kinda similar to my MC. He could be seen as the hero or villain in s sense, which caused him to do things thanks to his trauma and brainwashing from the mastermind villains or antagonists.

    The MC could be seen as an anti hero or tragic villain at times, someone who we could relate to despite his flaws. Where these particular main antagonists could be seen as the sheriff. They want to prove they can run things quick and will do any means to keep their reputation going like the ex soldier guy. In fact he might have more in common with the sheriff in many ways more than anyone else, both are war veterans, both believe they served and represented the most devastating cause, they both want to prove or show off what they are and use their status to gain power with the authority figure because they've been through the most battles, that no one can be better than them, etc. Not sure how much the sheriff differs from the book and movie, but in First Blood that was the impression he gave off to me. "I'm the best and no one can be better than me, cause I was the best most deadly soldier veteran around!" Maybe the sherriff had a traumatic life growing up biy he's definitely not as redeeming as Rambo is as Rambo just wants to survive and be left alone until he's pushed over and the soldier in him comes out.

    So I'd relate the ex military guy more to the sherriff. And remember, this ex military guy never experienced Vietnam war like Rambo did as he was too young to serve that time. He would of been a Gulf War veteran and most likely during the invasion of Panama Bay, which of course war is still war, but they were a different kind of war compared to the Vietnam war. He was a spec ops soldier and sure has seen lots of combat but some do lose their minds or could of become corrupted or greedy at any time and enjoyed killing not just the enemy but even civilians or looking to gain an extra pay by helping the black market or something, or got dishonorably discharged or kicked out of the military for going overboard and so now anything they can do to gain that power or control that they wanted to prove they're not going to fail. I could give him a little backstory we could relate to but not as much relatable to the MC's tragic anti hero backstory. It's all a grey area, nothing set in black and white.
     
  9. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Oh that I know, it's actually called a kwoon for a Chinese dojo. I just used the term dojo because whenever I use anything in Chinese terms which is usually in Cantonese or Mandarin meanings, no one understands me. Many also don't even know what a kwoon is so I end up having to say dojo since everyone knows that term lol.
     
  10. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Is everyone really that upset about the idea that the main villain wouldn't be someone to sympathize with? Don't we have enough villains or bad guys like this already in the media? We got Deadpool, Thanos, Joker, Magneto, Darth Vader, Frankensteins monster, Azula, Mr. Freeze, Loki, Harry Osborn, Hannibal, even Kreese from Cobra Kai is being sympathized with now, even real people like Hitler, Kim Jong-un and Stalin get sympathized with. I even spoke with a few other writers who were telling me the same thing, I had this one girl and her friend telling me they hate when a villain has really bad intentions and want them to be good somehow and won't read it if they aren't with truly good intentions underneath it all.

    It's like this has become the new trend, after a while will this ever get old? :(
     
  11. Siberian

    Siberian Member

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    A gym
     
  12. InsaneXade

    InsaneXade Member

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    evil for the sake of evil is boring. I prefer the good guy descends into evil but never thinks he's doing wrong. He (or she) justifies what they do is right in the long run. Or they never realize they are doing wicked because they don't know any better because of how they were raised

    Take my villain, Thour. At first he seems to be simply an evil presence in the first half of the book. every Spectarian calls him "the evil king" or "other king" because of all the terrible things hes done. However, once the protagonist goes over there to spy on him, Aden, and the reader, discovers that Thour is a multilayered person who is cruel, yes, but has fears, hates Spectra's kings for using the first born instead choosing among the brood and loves his adopted Spectarian daughter/niece so much that he stayed the coming invasion for years because he couldn't bear the thought of hurting her.

    Of course there is more to him than that, he can be extremely cruel. A guard was a disgrace to his job and Thour gave him a choice over what seemed to be a lose/win situation. The guard chose the win, only to find out that it was the worse choice of the two and was dragged away screaming and wailing. Little things like this makes Thour a villain you love to hate.

    Anyhow, I digress. Thour has met a lot of people in his life (he is 216 years old thanks to a magical artifact.) His Captain, Jerrica Binks is a cruel woman whom he met in the Dodo bar and Grill within his royal city. He saw the potential as she drunkenly told him about all her escapades in the army before the magical barrier that separates Thoria and Spectra went up. After confirming them, he moved her up and watched as she clawed her way to the top. Jerrica's father was abusive to her mother, bur more along the lines of the sadistic, cunning abuse. He would give and take, love and force her to do his bidding, all the while making her think she needed him and deserved what treatment she got from her husband. He too was in the army, but as a drill instructor because he thrived on turning sissy boys and pansy girls into men and women proud to serve in the Thorian army. Of course he taught his baby girl everything she knew.

    Her second in command, Rio Binks, Thour met in an orphanage that burned down. Thour was overseeing the rebuilding, because despite all else he is a good king, and noticed him. Rio was the orphanage bully and terrorized his fellow orphans, turning them into his own little army, most of which came with him and are now part of his elite force. Of course Jerrica and him became husband and wife. They complement each other so well.

    Now, does my reader need to know these little tidbits of my "evil" character's checkered pasts? No. However, I have them on file because I can use their pasts to form them into what they are today. I may, in the future, decide to have Aden ply them for information and it would be there, ready to be given to the reader like seasoning on top of a good steak. Not too much, not too little. I'll drop just enough so the reader understands what makes Rio and Jerrica tick and the connection between all three characters but will never get into an info dump because those are tedious and if done wrong, can have the reader throwing the book away instead of turning page after page to see what happens next.
     
  13. InsaneXade

    InsaneXade Member

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    Oh yes. Character connections are the backbone of any relationship. One can drop a seemingly inconsequential comment that makes the reader say Ah-ha! that's how they are connected or say more please. Later they find a little more about the two characters and start to piece the puzzle together. Don't do it all at once, for the reader may forget but just add a little salt here and there in the story, for character connections are actually backstory. And any good writer worth their salt (pun intended) knows too much backstory ruins the book. If you feel the reader Must know it then start the story earlier and do a creative time skip. but make sure you do it with punch and flare so not to bore the reader.
     
  14. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    This is exactly how my MC is. He started put as a kid being very good then descended down the dark path because the villain raised, brainwashed and manipulated him that way so I don't get why so many are doubting me. My MC is basically an anti hero or tragic hero/villain or whatever you want to call it.

    This is fine. My main villain has his reasons too for why he turned out so evil. More like a brainwashed psychopath in a way. Just don't expect him to have as many redeeming qualities as my MC as my MC is more relatable for his bad ways.

    Pretty much on par with my main villain. He shows no mercy or remorse, even to the weak. He's the one you love to hate.

    Sounds somewhat similar to my villain how he was a soldier and wanted to make sissy boys and girls into men women. Though he's part more of a con and likes to manipulate more of them to do his greedy needs. Even frame those with the authority making them look bad and him look like the good guy. Especially trying to fake some women out that he's so and so to get with some of them lol.

    Sounds kinda like my bully in my story, in a way.

    Which I would consider doing on a similar fashion. I won't need to reveal all at once, I'll just give hints here and there throughout the chapters.
     
  15. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    You mean like start the story with the MC when he was a kid and then progress and skip ahead when he's a full adult? Or just start the story when he's already an adult and throw some backstory and flashbacks to when he was younger? Or I could save some of that for a prequel so readers would understand his past better and why he turned out the way he did?
     
  16. InsaneXade

    InsaneXade Member

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    Well, you could sprinkle a few snippets of backstory if it's just a little here and there. or even color his perceptions by his childhood, which is tricky. As I said, below in my signature: Backstory is like salt, too much ruins the flavor of the story. One of the best ways is to show it in the descriptions.

    If he had a happy childhood then I would describe a sunset like this:

    The sun sank in the west clothed in rosy clouds, leaving the velvety darkness of night behind it.

    A sad and depressed childhood's perception of sunset might be this.

    The sun plummeted below the horizon, stealing the world's warmth.

    An abusive childhood might be this

    The sun set, slashing a crimson wound between the distant hills and the lurking clouds.

    A childhood marked by the tragic death of a loved one might be

    The day allowed itself to be caught by the clutches of death. Dusk glowered through the purple mist of decay, daring the sun to rise in the east once more.

    BTW please don't steal these, for I used a few of them and am saving the rest for other character'as pov. This is also a great technique to show the mood, or even an underlying danger to the situation.

    This example is from Rayne Hall's book Writing vivid emotions and is copyrighted but she allows snippets to be used as notes or examples as long as she is credited.

    Waves lapped at the beach, caressing the pebbles. The leaves of the palm trees whispered as they brushed against one another. The sun touched the horizon, and golden-pink clouds covered the bruise-purple sky.

    Rayne Hall. Writing Vivid Emotions: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors (Writer's Craft Book 22) (Kindle Locations 474-476). Kindle Edition.

    As you can see it's a romantic sunset laced with apprehension.
    ------
    As for the first reply, I can see why you might be confused. You should have dedicated part of the first post into the villain that molded the overlord. However, as long as each villain is fleshed out and is a guy, or gal, the reader loves to hate with an overlord who is even worse, then it's all good. But make sure you spend time to flesh out your hero as well.

    Don't make him good for the sake of it, for even that gets boring. Spice up his goodness by adding a sprinkling of faults or fears that he must overcome to triumph over the evil ones. Say the army one loves something that he is scared of, say spiders, and always has a few of them on him and in his dojo office in a cage. Hero must go through his arachnophobia to defeat the army master. however, spend too much on the minor villaons that hero must overcome and the reader may not want to read much further because once beaten it seems that the book is complete. Give the army guy's history some page time but the main focus would be the overlord villain. Painting a picture of the overlord with each minor villain's encounter might be better than giving each villain the same page time. Let the reader and Hero put pieces of the overlord together.

    Sorry if your main villain isnt the overlord, but from what I gleaned of the posts that is the persona that fits him.
     
  17. TheMyst7885

    TheMyst7885 Active Member

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    Sorry for the late reply, I was feeling sick for a while :(


    I could always sprinkle in some of it here and there throughout the story? Get readers interested in knowing more, then one day have a prequel to show that backstory if others are interested in it?

    I understand what you are saying here. And dont worry! I would never steal them from you. But I get the concept which I think is what you are trying to explain to me. I can always come up with my own version.


    Very well written, it expresses the right emotion with the atmosphere or environment around. I think I can work this in.
    ------
    Thank you for understanding, I will.

    Are you referring to the MC not being too good? Yes I have in mind that he will have lots of faults and flaws. Hard be a mix of a really good innocent guy and a flawed underdog scene as an antihero or misunderstood as a tragic villain at times. I think him having to overcome a fear of dome phobia of something from the villain works perfectly. I had things in mind like even the abusivness and warlike presence the villain gave him, almost like some abusive step father figure.

    No worries, I was actually planning the army guy ends up as the overlord, but it kind of gets the reader guessing, sure the other guy who is the multi mill business kung fu chain owner to be the overlord and mastermind, but the army guy was kind of like that guy who would of started out working and hired by the top leaders but also eventually forms his own overlord mastermind hierarchy.
     
  18. InsaneXade

    InsaneXade Member

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    here is a highly recommended book, an example of how she brings everything together and how she has a few sub villains with a sick, twisted and sadistic overlord that you just love to hate. Storm Dancer if youm can't afford the pice I will loan it to you from m y personal library. PM me.
     

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