Thoughts on Antagonists

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Thoughts on Antagonists

Postby Kunren » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:09 pm

Something that I've seen people talk about a lot is evil characters and good characters. id like to try to put my thoughts down on what I've been thinking about, character types a bit better defined -between antagonistic and non.

Here are some examples I've come up with so far, feel free to post up any disagreements/deeper thoughts on any of em.

The grudge keeper: This character has a distinctly defined pride, and how it may be insulted in even the smallest ways. Any and every insult is remembered carefully, and planned to repay in kind. For example: The grudge keeper is bumped into on the street by a careless passerby. He takes this as an insult, and obessively find out anything and everything about them that he can and then hurts the careless passerby as heftily as he possibly can to repay the insult. He may or may not make sure the passerby knows who caused him this pain.

The truly arrogant: Doesn't matter why or how he came to be such, this character believes himself to be better than EVERYONE, and strives to make sure everyone knows the status quo as often as possible. He will put up a fight to have people pay him every respect he feels is due, whether that be moving out of his way on the street or bowing in supplication upon meeting him, or even just avoiding meeting his eyes when speaking to him. Often one of the most changeable traits of a character(when having the fact that you are not in fact better than others smashed into your face repeatedly, it tends to stick) but if he has the stubbornness to persevere in his beliefs of superiority despite the situation, it can make for an interesting (if annoying at times) character.

The ambitious and scared power seeker: This character seeks to garner as much power as possible at all times of any sort over others. His constant fear, even worse than the fear of death and stronger than common sense, is that his power will be lessened in some way. He therefore suspects every conceivable possibility of this, even if it's so small as to be impossible. This is the kind of person who has people killed on even the suspicion of thoughts traitorous to himself, or in the cases of less powerful people, will hold onto the positions that they have even if it means the organization or country they serve will be absolutely destroyed because of it.

The meddler (or trickster): This character devises grand schemes, often full of long odds of success, using people as his pawns, for his own amusement. Often sadistic, but equally often simply callous to the dangers he puts his or her pawns in as long as he remains amused. Occasionally mistaken for simply a long term schemer, the difference between the two is that a schemer tends to have a true goal in mind, while the meddler will play his games for eternity if left to it. Tends to not actually be in a leadership position, preferring an advisors position to many other characters to lead them towards whoever he wishes.

The sadist: This character is not merely a simple torturer, he lives his life to enjoy and create suffering of all kinds for anyone and everyone (occasionally even including himself). This is not just the thug who loves violence for violences sake, this is the character who systematically destroys other people emotionally, socially, and any other way he can. For example, setting up a businessmans slow decline in his career, pushing on him in certain ways to bring his stress to the breaking point, then watching the businessman slowly destroy his own life and livelihood under the stress. Would abhor killing a person in suffering, unless it results in worsened suffering for another (can't enjoy the pain a man is in if he's dead).

The embodiment of greed: This character simply WANTS. Endlessly. No matter how much wealth, happiness, or whatever else he wants that he gets, he is always refused the feeling of satisfaction. He is in an endless need of more. Willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants, whether it be shady business practices, illegal endevours, or perfectly sanctioned and legal business. He tends to be a hoarder as well, acquiring what he wants simply for the sake of it and no other reasons, the type to steal an apple rather than pay 2 riln from his 10,000 in savings for it.

The schemer: Similar to the meddler, this character views people as pawns. However, he does not plan schemes for his own amusement, rather he does so to achieve personal goals. This character's first thoughts upon meeting of hearing of another are always "How can I use this person most effectively?" Pride is not the schemers forte, however. He can easily see that someone is better than him at anything or everything, but that simply raises this persons value as a pawn to be used by the schemer for his own purposes. The schemer is only such because of his unique view of people, he needs not have any true power of his own to demand loyalty or anything else.

The heartless pursuer: The defining aspect of this character is that he or she has a goal. They will achieve this goal no matter what. This is not the knight who must save the princess from the evil insert creature here, this is the royal bodyguard who will mindlessly murder anyone who might put their charge in even the slightest of dangers, whether it be a spouse, family member, adoring fan, or innocent child who knows too much.

I tried to list and describe as many potentially antagonistic types as I could, but I'm certain I missed a few and I may well have misdescribed or left out important details for even the ones I listed. once again, please fee free to post additions, disagreements, or thoughts on the matter.
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Re: Thoughts on Antagonists

Postby Fayne » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:18 am

I stumbled upon this a few weeks ago, and it's completely relevant: http://www.springhole.net/writing/mindsets-and-rationales-that-lend-to-villainy.htm

There are a few links at the bottom of the page as well that you can follow for more evil character info as well.
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Re: Thoughts on Antagonists

Postby Kunren » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:41 pm

That's a pretty interesting read! It surprises me a bit that there were definitely some similarities between what I wrote down based on person experience (Read that as: Many, many books) and this other persons article. The article adds some interesting things I hadn't considered personally to add in as well, such as the "If I hurt someone, they deserved it anyway" perspective or the I can't be wrong so everyone else is perspective along with a few others.
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Re: Thoughts on Antagonists

Postby Fayne » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:41 pm

Here's another article from that site that is supposed to be aimed at writing better villians, but also translates over to playing better villians as well: http://www.springhole.net/writing/write_better_villains.htm

I personally reccommend the sections on making sure your villian has a believable motive, making sure your villian doesn't talk like a cheeseball, and "Be careful with those smirks." The last two especially apply to anyone trying to RP an antagonistic character, but the first will help anyone create an evil character who has never done so before, and is really the most important step in creating a believable villian.
A scrawny alley cat stares after the dog with big green eyes.
Speaking to a scrawny alley cat, you ask, "Friend of yours?"
A scrawny alley cat hisses angrily.

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Re: Thoughts on Antagonists

Postby Alexander » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:38 pm

I am always appreciative of an antagonist that I can find myself sympathizing with to some degree.
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Re: Thoughts on Antagonists

Postby Fayne » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:43 pm

If you're interested, there's even an article on that site that goes over how good and well-intentioned organizations can go horribly wrong, and it doesn't talk about the cheesy good organization getting a few bad apples that take over (althoigh that is memtioned and detailed, along with other things). It's pretty interesting.
A scrawny alley cat stares after the dog with big green eyes.
Speaking to a scrawny alley cat, you ask, "Friend of yours?"
A scrawny alley cat hisses angrily.

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