1. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    405

    Omnipotent villain problem

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SolZephyr, Oct 5, 2020.

    Hello, all. I hate to admit it, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to make the villains for the final book in my trilogy work the way I want them to. The situation and problem are as follows:

    The situation: The villains are a group of nearly omnipotent beings who've been built up for the past two books. They haven't been a problem because they abandoned the world where the previous books took place in, but they're about to take notice of what my characters have been doing and it's going to be confrontation time.

    The problem: I very much want the lead villain to be a parallel to my MC of this book. My MC is currently heading down the same path that led said villain to becoming what it is, but my villain chose to embrace the lie, so to speak. I want to explore this by making it known to my MC how much she has in common with said villain, but the only ones who know the truth are the villains themselves. Since they're (close to) omnipotent, any direct encounter with them other than at the very end of the story would be an instant loss for the heroes.

    Basically, I'm asking for ideas. The closest thing I can think of to a solution is for my MC to use her fledging reality-bending powers to peak behind the scenes of the world and draw her own conclusions. I could potentially have her eavesdrop on the villains, but then I'd need a clearly defined limiter for when that ability would be allowed.

    Thanks very much for any thoughts on the matter.

    PS: Nerfing the villains' abilities isn't an option. The previous two books clearly established what they are and what they're capable of, and confronting them is the necessary conclusion to the trilogy.

    Edit: After several responses, I think I should clarify: the villains are not an absolute power. There are even higher beings who would not approve of their actions and exposing those actions is one of the goals of my MC (albeit a secondary one)
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  2. mar-iposa

    mar-iposa Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2020
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    California
    Here's what I understood: The villains are omnipotent and can wield reality-bending powers, and MC holds these same powers with less experience.

    Is there incentive for the villains to want MC on their side? I could believe a situation where, instead of pursuing MC and ending the story easily, the villains try an elaborate scheme in which they try to bend pivotal moments in MC's path to try and get her to "lose her way." This can include allusions to her having similarities to the villain- the allusions can just be lies or maybe they're more effective because it's true. It's up to MC to be able to overcome all the signs pointing to her becoming just like the villains (I assume) she wants to stop. With this more introspective "defeat destiny" plot, the villains can be the driving antagonistic force throughout the book without actually being present to the reader or MC until the climax; your idea of her using her powers to peak behind the curtain could work here too, since it would be towards the end of the story!

    However, I don't know how well this can be executed with what you've set up in previous books... just wanted to try and help :)
     
  3. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    4,941
    Likes Received:
    5,730
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    Did the villain leave behind any record of his/her pre-omnipotent life that the character could come across? A diary or somesuch?
     
    Aceldama likes this.
  4. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    405
    That's a great idea that I haven't considered. I think it would be more in line with my villain's psychology than not. I know it wouldn't work towards the beginning, but it is possible that it might work at the end, like you said. I would need some way for the villains to know that my MC is in fact like them (i.e. same origin) to make it work though. It's definitely an idea I will explore more. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
    mar-iposa likes this.
  5. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    405
    Well, in a sense. The villains have different motivations within their group (which will cause some conflict), but my lead villain's goal is to (spoilers) perpetually recreate his original world in an attempt to relive the life they lost. My MC will see the villain recreating the same world over and over, but I'm not sure if that would be enough for her to deduce this goal. If it is, my MC will consider the possibility that the villain started from a similar place, but won't be able to see how they ended up like they are.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  6. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    4,941
    Likes Received:
    5,730
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    How does the villain appear in their recreated world? As themselves, or as a past reflection of themselves? Can the MC run into them, or their avatar there (without the villain realising who the MC is)?
     
    SolZephyr likes this.
  7. JuliaBrune

    JuliaBrune Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2020
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    idk how much it would work in your story but here's my idea ^^

    The worlds are the product of an omnipotent being - by definition they can't fall short of what they want these to be. Unless the missing element is something the creator itself lacks - that they can't, in all senses, conceive.
    The MC reaches her darkest hour when she finds that not only can't she make what is missing from her life - she can't make it in any possible world. That her desire is a cosmic impossibility. Bad times.
    But then something happens. She realize it's the only thing missing. It's the only constant. In all the worlds she can find anything but this. The absence is the constant. She reconceptualizes her loss - it isn't just her loss it's the loss of the world ; she can't fix what went wrong without addressing the fact that it went wrong everywhere. And confronting whoever is spreading their own loss all over their own creation.

    More generally, I think you can use you're original idea of peaking at other world and make the reveal more of an moment of empathy - i.e. she understands the feeling s of the creator - than a sherlock holmes deduction moment.
     
    mar-iposa likes this.
  8. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    405
    They would alternate between their true selves and their ideal version of what their past self would have been. This is a possibility I considered -- encountering the avatar unknowingly. I wasn't sure if I could make it work, but after your post and further consideration I think it would be worth it to try. I feel like it would have to be a singular encounter, lest it feel forced, but it could go a long way to helping my MC realize their motivations.

    @JuliaBrune That isn't the motivation of my MC. That's more along the lines of the motivation of my villain, though it's not a cosmic impossibility -- it's more of a refusal to move on. My MC's motivation is to escape the sphere of influence of the villains (and secondarily expose them to even higher powers as having abused the abilities they've been given. (Of note: no one involved in the stories is truly omnipotent. An apt comparison of the villain to the world would be programmer to a program -- able to do pretty much anything, but limited by skill, effort, and the underlying system they have to work with).
     
    Naomasa298 likes this.
  9. Whitecrow

    Whitecrow Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2020
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    75
    I see several options.
    1) Indifferent outcome.
    If the villain is so powerful that he does not care about the victory or defeat of the hero, since this will not affect the state or situation of the villain.
    If for a villain it's just a way to have fun. Thus, he will not sweat to stop the hero. He creates pressure on the hero, creates obstacles and creates moral pressure, but at the same time he does not press too hard. He plays with them like a cat plays with a mouse.
    2) Distraction.
    If there are characters you can sacrifice. Those who distract the villain's attention and become cannon fodder for him, while the rest use this opportunity to rush past unnoticed.
    3) Bargaining.
    Offer something more valuable to the villain in exchange for not standing in the way of the heroes.
    4) Die.
    I've seen this technique in a couple of books. He pissed me off, but still it's an option. It takes a long time to create the story of the protagonist, just to kill him at one point. Let the main villain kill them all and make a bad ending.
     
    SolZephyr likes this.
  10. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    405
    1) This isn't viable. The villain does have a lot to lose if the heroes win.
    2) Definitely viable and a good idea. I'll probably do this at some point.
    3) I hadn't considered that, but it might work well with the conflict between the villains (lead villain might want to replace other villains who have different visions than him).
    4) An option, but yeah, no. Maybe some people could do this, but I'm not ending my first trilogy with a bad ending. I don't really want to piss off my handful of readers right when I'm getting started.
     
  11. Aceldama

    Aceldama free servant

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Messages:
    488
    Likes Received:
    299
    Currently Reading::
    1984
    I like the diary idea. It seems that the villains have been presented in a sort of abstract way. Correct me if im wrong, but like the untouchable villain who's purpose for a majority of the story is in the idea he represents. I think having a diary that the MC can explore on his/her own would add to the mystique of the omnipotent bad guy thing. It'll add some vulnerability to the villain indirectly.

    I think also that the idea and its implications can't be written in many different ways, depending on the specific desired effect.

    It reminds me of the first Kingdom Hearts game for the ps2. We're Sora would come across the diary entries of Ansalem and them come to find out he's the bad guy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
  12. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2018
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    405
    Hey all, thanks for the ideas. I think I'm going with what mar-iposa suggested, as it's really the only idea I hadn't already considered and I think it would work perfectly. The way I plan on implementing it might have one minor difficulty that I'm very not sure about, but I think that since it's a different issue I should start a different thread.

    Edit: I don't think I'll post the issue. I'm fairly certain readers will be smart enough to keep things straight. If my betas say they have trouble when it finally gets out to them, I have a safety net I can rewrite in to help out (even if I think it's slightly forced).
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
    mar-iposa and Aceldama like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice