is there such thing as too many villains{dumb question}

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Thread: is there such thing as too many villains{dumb question}

  1. #1

    is there such thing as too many villains{dumb question}

    I ask because between doing my writing projects and bouts of the depression hypomania cycle I go through.. I've noticed that a lot of my stories don't end anywhere near what I could predict. for one the truly prequel ending keeps getting new villains like a whimsical game of where the Hadese did you come from. I swear I have lost focus on my main project and I know why. it's a combination of shiny story syndrome and said difference between hypomania and depression. so my question is. once a story is off track due to you not being on the project for about? I was looking for advice for restarting old projects and straightening out things so there endings don't come out of left field....
    villains so far
    1. anti-fate Of Lies{foil for the fate of truth}
    2. anti-fate Plight{was married to above but also truth do to rewrite of multiverse. sh straight up takes over the story to early}
    3. fate of Time{really he is just a guy who wants to alphabetizes the multiverse and does so by stealing the thing that can rewrite everything.. is is a true neutral guy and thus ends up helping the heroes themselves due to him admitting his mistake}
    4. Meta villain code named ranti{all the villains have had something taken from their very spirit by this yet unknown mover in action.}

    so those are the four villains so far but they all have taken turns as the antagonist and thus the book has lost it's focus and has an ending out of left field due to it being a squeal with some necessities.

    p.s. forgot about the Demifates who are the ones who started this hole mess.
    striding and swagering rootlessness with out end the precious flow of life.

  2. #2
    The answer for me is yes because there should be only one main plot and a few subplots in a novel. A short story should only have one main plot. (one villain in most cases, 2 maximun)
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  3. #3
    What do you mean by squeal in this context?

  4. #4
    Member Tomkat's Avatar
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    Sep 2019
    Here & There
    I have to say (sorry for being honest), I had difficulties in understanding your message. I hope your writing is clearer! <insert friendly smile here>

    You could built your novel as if it is a collection of 4 short stories, related to each other and in chronological order. Best example that comes right now to my mind is the Witcher series of Sapkowski. (not the saga but books such as "The Last Wish". Check it out, if not for the content, for the structure.)
    It could be a novel split in 4 ACTS, each act with its own villain and minor conflict.

    I don't see the necessity to have a main villain, the main conflict of your novel could be within the MC him/herself. The villains are obstacles and challenges on the path of resolution.
    As in life, one challenge leads to another.

    These big and articulated projects are very nice and also very ambitious. To practice with short stories is a great thing.

    The best advice I am able to give here is to focus on point 1, the first villain and write that story. What comes after will come after. Complete the first episode, or chapter or part, whatever you what to define it.
    When you got ideas for further episodes, just take a note and don't linger on them too much.
    Once first episode is down, move to second. When second is done, revisit the first one for details and alignment. Then, jump to third and repeat till done!

  5. #5
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    Tucson Az
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    I would say that it's not the number of villains but the length of the book, type of story you are writing, and your skill as a writer. For example my current WIp is going to be at least seven novels long. Why? Because of the villains and main theme of this series. Each villain in a book will represent 1 of the 7 deadly sins that the two MC's will have to overcome and defeat. So if you have loads of villains think about breaking the story into several books. It's helped me out but even I still have a long way to go.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

  6. #6
    It kinda depends on what you're aiming for. If you want a novel for traditional publishing that looks like a screenplay, then yeah, a lot of gurus would say that the villains aren't just obstacles, but fill a role in showing contrast with the heroic character.

    On the flip side, there are a lot of popular, episodic comics and self published stories that a lot of people like. Sometimes traditionally published media has too many bad guys (Spiderman 3 for example).

  7. #7
    Thank you guys. I meant prequel btw.

  8. #8
    I don't think there is, as long as you're reasonable. It's a great way to stage-gate the story.

  9. #9
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
    Too many is only when you can't cover them all that they barely serve any purpose in your story.

  10. #10
    The more the merrier.
    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" - W.B. Yeats
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