Do you find yourself creating your villains first before the heroes? - Page 3


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Thread: Do you find yourself creating your villains first before the heroes?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    To say "people are gray" doesn't mean that they can't be mostly-white or mostly-black on the moral spectrum--nor that they must vacillate perpetually between the two extremes. Most people are pretty consistent eventually, but people can change over time. The hero falls from grace, and the villain has his redemption arc. Villains are generally people on that "dark gray" side of the spectrum, and heroes are generally on that "light gray" side. Both can change or have different stances on different issues
    This reads as contradictory and seems to amount to semantic gymnastics.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

  2. #22
    Oh okay, perhaps I was being too black and white about it, using terms like heroes and villains, since there are grey areas and all not all stories need a true villain.

    I guess what I meant was is that I come up with the problem and the problem starter first, and why they start such a problem, then I come up with the problem solver character.

    But a lot of books and advice out there, say to come up with the problem solver first, which just seems kind of backwards to me, without knowing what the problem is yet, if that makes sense?

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh okay, perhaps I was being too black and white about it, using terms like heroes and villains, since there are grey areas and all not all stories need a true villain.

    I guess what I meant was is that I come up with the problem and the problem starter first, and why they start such a problem, then I come up with the problem solver character.

    But a lot of books and advice out there, say to come up with the problem solver first, which just seems kind of backwards to me, without knowing what the problem is yet, if that makes sense?
    I don't think there's a right or wrong order to build them so long as all characters get fleshed out. I'm fine with heroes and villains--makes things easy. Heroes don't have to be anti-heroes or serial killers or other really unpleasant people, and villains don't have to be likable.

    Particularly as you're into crime fiction, I think it makes perfect sense that you would do villains first--especially for the first work in any given series. Villains are a large part of the plot of such stories--they get the ball rolling and give the hero something to do. Without the crime, there's no crime story, so by all means start there. Once you know the crime, you can better tailor your hero to solve it and give him a relevant past that makes the crime more emotionally meaningful for him.

    There's also going to be the stage of character creations where your bouncing these characters off each other. They don't generally spring full fledged from your forehead like Athena (but if they do you're either very lucky or cursed). Generally, they come bit by bit, and a writer will work in "chunking" or "blocking" (what some painters call it when they start with larger, vaguer blobs of color on a canvas and gradually define objects in the painting over successive layers). Eventually, the characters will be good enough to start writing them, and they'll be further honed by the writer, the events, and each other as the book goes along.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  4. #24
    When I am developing a story, I actually start with the conflict itself, then imagine the hero who opposes it...then the villain behind it.
    So essentially, I see something in everyday life, my overactive imagination spins it up into a what-if scenario. After that I start imagining what kind of a person would stand up to such abuse/crime/atrocities.
    And about two minutes later I start imagining the villain who created the whole mess in the first place.


    But I create the two differently.
    The hero I create to be fun, likeable, or even irreverent.
    But the villain is built based on the scenario. In other words; does the scenario require an officious government type, or maybe a mass murdering cartel member....
    Then once I determine if they are an authoritarian or a thug...then I develop their character.
    Not all villains fit all scenarios.



    For me, there are 2 types of villains that I like to see (especially in movies.)

    1) The villain that truly intimidates me. I'm talking about the kind of bad guy who makes me think "If I was there, I wouldn't fuk with that guy!"
    I hated Jared Leto as the Joker because when I looked at him I always thought to myself "I'd kick his ass inside out."
    But Javier Bardem in No Country scared me. I could easily see myself sitting in Woody Harrelson's seat & saying "It doesn't have to be this way..."
    In real life, I would not have fuked with him.


    2) Clever villains. Dennis Hopper in Waterworld was a great example of this. I watch the movie and think "Sure, I could kick his butt all day long, but he was so much fun to watch."
    There is no rule that says you can't have fun with your villains. Look at how Heath Ledger handled the role of Joker. He was simply amazing.

  5. #25
    I don't typically go in thinking of a "main villain" or "antagonist", they sometimes develop or come into being as the stories progress (I then retrofit the story as needed, ) . and in some cases there are no villains, per-say.

    My current WIP, the Antagonist (not to be confused with main villain) is the pushing force of the story, manipulating and drawing the reluctant protagonist into conflict, though by the fourth book she's pretty much all in. there is an instance where she goes against her own beliefs because she feels it serves the moral good and protects her own family from a dangerous threat. The actual "villain" of the series of books, who causes the antagonist to set things in motion, has it's own justification for their actions. I don't portray the "villain" as evil but rather an opposing force.

    That's not to say there are not some badguys *villains" in the books within the series, but again they aren't made out to be super evil dudes.


    if there is any character that resembles an actual "Villain" or evil badguy, it would be a character King Khayle from one of my other stories. Though, in his case he is more aware of his "evil" status, and sees himself more as a way for others to see what evil looks like and commits some pretty horrible atrocities and at some point tortures the MC in that story, just so the MC could learn and either rise
    above it or become a broken man.

    in another side story i'm writing, I have "Villains" who just simply a mindless destructive force with no purpose other then to destroy. (though i'm still developing them).

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