Posts tagged Writing
Posts tagged Writing
Title: We Raise Our Children Well
Summary: A boy and his buneary, told in five parts. A friendship from beginning to end. Inspired by this set of fanart: [x]
“Jamie, come here!” Four year old Jamie looked up from his trucks, a pout already rising to his lips. It was Christmas and the boy wanted to play, not take more pictures!
“But mama, I wanna play wit’ my trucks!” He stuck out his lip, giving her the biggest pout possible. “No more pictas!”
plot twist: a female character is imbued with great power and can handle it
In any story the main character will have something on their mind. They will worry and fret based on how important ‘the thing’ is to them.
Just because they happen to think this thing is worth obsessing over or getting upset about doesn’t mean the reader will also.
Showing the character really worked up about this thing won’t automatically make the reader feel the same way.
We’ve gotten quite a few Asks regarding making a villain or antagonist a likable, sympathetic, or relatable character. So we’re making you a master post. Enjoy.
What makes readers feel sympathetic towards a character?
The best, most genuine way to write a character that people will sympathize with is to take the time and create a round, realistic character with motivations and feelings that are understandable to the audience. Because humans are naturally inclined to feel empathy for each other, they will sympathize with almost anyone who they can see themselves in. If at any point the reader is thinking something like ‘I could see myself feeling or acting this way’, you’ve got them. There is a difference between disagreeing with a characters’ actions and judging them- you want your audience to only disagree (if at all).
We’ve used ‘villain’ in the title, but it’s probably better to use the term ‘antagonist.’
1. a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.
2. the adversary of the hero or protagonist of a drama orother literary work: Iago is the antagonist of Othello.
Actually, an antagonist doesn’t have to be a person, depending on what kind of conflict you are writing. You can have a story without an antagonist, or a story that lacks an overarching antagonist as well. However, for the purposes of this post, when we say ‘antagonist’, we mean any person who engages in a major conflict with the protagonist of the story.
(Put it together for) Sympathetic Antagonists:
What makes readers feel sympathetic towards the antagonist of a story?
Real people are often hard to pin down as ‘evil’ or ‘good’, rather, they do good or evil things. Though your antagonist might do things that the audience does not agree with, if the reader can understand your character’s motivations, they will have a harder time condemning them altogether. When I say ‘sympathetic’, I don’t mean that the reader has to agree with that character’s actions, or even like them- rather, the sense that the character is not so different from the reader is what makes an antagonist ‘sympathetic’. As C put it, “The reader can SEE that the villain has good qualities, but their actions work against the hero.”
A few methods:
Backstory: The scary thing about nature vs. nurture thinking is that we still don’t know how much of our actions are influenced by genes, and how much by our environment. Therefore, most people, when presented with an account of how someone was shaped into who they are today by circumstances beyond their control, most readers will think, ‘that could have been me’.
Logic: While characters that are mentally unhealthy are popular for a villain role these days, I love a villain who has an excellent reason for what s/he’s doing. Take the antagonists behind the scenes in Ender’s Game, Graff and Anderson. They emotionally destroyed many children (including the protagonist), allowed one to die on their watch, and committed xenocide by proxy. But it was their plan to save the world.
Motivation: People can do things when they are angry, or insecure, or fearful, that they wouldn’t under other conditions. For example, fear makes people irrational. Nearly everyone has experienced this. If you have ever frantically crushed a spider under a book (poor book), then you can sympathize, even just a bit, with someone hurting other people because they are afraid.
This has been FYCD
C is a bamf.
A few TV Tropes examples for inspiration:
Ugh. People keep giving me inspiration for things to write and the fic just isn’t there yet! Stop taunting me!
please keep taunting me
Neutral Evil is called the “Malefactor” alignment. Characters of this alignment are typically selfish and have no qualms about turning on their allies-of-the-moment. They have no compunctions about harming others to get what they want, but neither will they go out of their way to cause carnage or mayhem when they see no direct benefit to it. They abide by laws for only as long as it is convenient for them. A villain of this alignment can be more dangerous than either Lawful or Chaotic Evil characters, since he is neither bound by any sort of honour or tradition nor disorganised and pointlessly violent. Examples are an assassin who has little regard for formal laws but does not needlessly kill, a henchman who plots behind his superior’s back, or a mercenary who switches sides if made a better offer. Neutral evil beings consider their alignment to be the best because they can advance themselves without regard for others. Neutral evil is the most dangerous alignment because it represents pure evil without honour and without variation.
Does your character judge people at a quick glance? Do they think that the shoes make the man, or that a handshake is a good way of telling somebody’s moral fiber? Are they oblivious to the idea of people changing, and don’t accept when others go through change? Do they sit down for a long conversation with somebody before making their decisions about them? Is there anything (liking a certain band, dressing a certain way, enjoying certain books, etc.) that would make your character instantly like or dislike somebody?
(Submitted by courtvents)
Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration.
CHARACTER, POINT OF VIEW, DIALOGUE
Advantages, Disadvantages and Skills (character traits)
Family Echo (family tree website)
PLOT, CONFLICT, STRUCTURE, OUTLINE
SETTING, WORLD BUILDING
TOOLS and SOFTWARE
My Writing Nook (online text editor; free)
Bubbl.us (online mind map application; free)
Freemind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
XMind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
Liquid Story Binder (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $45.95; Windows, portable)
Scrivener (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $39.95; Mac)
SuperNotecard (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $29; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
yWriter (novel organization and writing software; free; Windows, Linux, portable)
JDarkRoom (minimalist text editor; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
AutoRealm (map creation software; free; Windows, Linux with Wine)
Why didn’t anyone make this sooner? I hate when people only use the word “said” in stories.
BLESS YOUR COW
BLESS THIS POST.
CAN I MARRY A POST?
WHO EVER MADE THIS I LOVE YOU!
BLESS YOU. BLESS YOU, YOUR HOUSE, YOUR CAR, YOUR KIDS, YOUR BIKE, YOUR TOWN! WHOEVER MADE THIS, YOU ARE INCREDIBLE.