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Fantasy Writers

Villain’s Character Castle (Character) Discussion

  • This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Rose.
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  • #133907
    Erynne
    @erynne

    Hey guys! I just had a few questions I’d like to ask about your opinions on Dominic.

    (If any of y’all are wanting to ask some questions about your own villain, feel free!)

    So Dominic has been a very interesting character to deal with. I really did no development on him and just kinda went with whatever my fingers decided to type. Obviously, most of it, in fact all of it, a lot of his parts in the story came out very cliché or just plain weird. I still struggled with writing his parts because I couldn’t really come up with a personality that was different from your average ‘bad guy’. I thought the castle would be a good place to go to figure out who Dominic really is. (I think of it as that whole “I’m off to find myself” bit. Sometimes you just have to do that with characters XD) Anyway, I’ll get to the point now.

    Like I said above, I was wondering if you would mind answering the following questions about my mad scientist to help me out a bit. I honestly don’t know how many there will be I’m just kinda making these up as I go, so if you don’t feel like answering them all no worries! One or two will help more than you realize! However, if you do not feel like answering all, at least answer number 7 for me.

    1) Is this a villain you think you would actually be scared of if you got on the wrong side of?

    2) Does he seem different from your average ‘bad guy’?

    3) Does he sound like a boy!? (This might be a weird question, but since I’m a girl all of my characters seem to sound more like girls. Lol, I might have to start a thread on how to avoid that…)

    4) Is his physical appearance too cliché?

    5) If you were reading my book, would you get excited or would you moan if you came to a chapter that is about him? (based on personality, not plot 😉 )

    6) Is Dominic one that you would want to remember later on, or is he more one that you think you could easily forget about?

    7) What is your overall opinion of him?

    Honest answers please!!

    Thank you if you’ve made it this far!


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    @hannahrenner @skylarynn @rose-colored-fancy @kimlikesart @erynne (I’m just curious to see if I get an email if I tag myself XDXD)

    I think that’s everyone. If I left some one out I’m really sorry!

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by Erynne.

    "There are no mistakes, only happy accidents."
    -Bob Ross

    #133931
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @erynne

    Cool idea for a topic! Okay, here goes!

    1) Is this a villain you think you would actually be scared of if you got on the wrong side of?

    Hmm, IRL, I’d be scared out of my wits of him, but that doesn’t really say much. XD Most of my characters (Even good guys) would scare/intimidate me IRL. XD

    In story, I definitely wouldn’t want to get on his wrong side. He seems like he can be a very dominating and overbearing person, though I can’t quite tell how far he’s willing to go for his goals, or what his goals and motivations are, exactly. (You may have mentioned this and I just forgot XD plus, that’s way easier to show in-story)

    2) Does he seem different from your average ‘bad guy’?

    Hmm, the mad-scientist type isn’t that common in fantasy, (though it’s a cool trope!) so that makes him more distinctive. On the other hand, I don’t know that much about his backstory and motivations, which can make him a lot more distinctive.

    3) Does he sound like a boy!? (This might be a weird question, but since I’m a girl all of my characters seem to sound more like girls. Lol, I might have to start a thread on how to avoid that…)

    He doesn’t sound feminine at all, at least to me. And I’d love to see a thread on that!

    4) Is his physical appearance too cliché?

    Hmm, in all honesty, it might be. What could help fix this is if you think about why he looks the way he does, especially the things he can control, like clothing and hairstyle. Mad scientists get that stereotypical appearance because they live in lab coats and don’t spend much time on their appearance.

    Some villains may purposefully try to look intimidating or keep up a certain image. People dress to fit their roles and how they want others to perceive them. Or he may dress strictly for practicality, but even that keeps up an image. Just something to think about 😉

    5) If you were reading my book, would you get excited or would you moan if you came to a chapter that is about him? (based on personality, not plot)

    Usually, I like villain chapters in general, since they give off such an entirely different perspective, and you get to find out more about their thoughts and motivations. (The only exception, I don’t really like villain prologues, since I’m not invested yet, but that’s a personal thing.) I’d definitely like to see how he sees the entire plot scenario and how he feels about it, especially the things he wouldn’t say out loud.

    I just enjoy shuddering at their evilness and how much sense it makes to them XD

    Only warning, don’t overdo it unless there’s important plot stuff going on that only he can show. One or two chapters are usually enough. Villains are cool, and people can start rooting for them instead if they seem to carry the narrative because people love proactive characters.

    6) Is Dominic one that you would want to remember later on, or is he more one that you think you could easily forget about?

    Same thing as above, the thing I remember most are their motivations, or even more, how they justify it toward themselves. That’s what makes villains cool, more than what they actually do.

    7) What is your overall opinion of him?

    I think you’re definitely on the right track! Even if you didn’t develop him any further, he could definitely fill his villainous roles without detracting from your story. If you develop him a little further and think about his backstory and motivations (How many times can I mention that XD) he could become a really cool villain!

    Oh, and if you’re having trouble with the whole backstory thing, there’s a cool villain questionnaire on here that helped me develop mine some! It’s kinda long, but you don’t have to do all the questions. I think it’s in the ‘characters’ section.

     

    I actually do have a couple of questions about Chantara for y’all! I’d really appreciate your opinions!

    What really stands out about her, if anything?

    I know the whole assassin thing is kinda a cliche by now, but I couldn’t help myself XD Does it feel overdone and stereotypical?

    Are there any parts of Chantara’s personality or backstory that don’t make sense?

    And a fun one:

    Do you think she’s more morally gray or a true villain and is her situation her own fault? (Yeah, I haven’t even figured this one out myself XD)

     

     

     

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #133933
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @rose-colored-fancy

    Ok, you rock. That helps way more than you realize. Thank you so much!

    So his backstory and motivations… I don’t remember if I explained it when we first started the castle or not. I honestly struggle with every part of character development which is why a good majority of my characters are just not good. What I part of his backstory I actually have put together I will put at the end of this post. It’s just a section of my book where everything gets explained. I will definitely be looking at that questionnaire!!

    And what motivates him to be this evil scientist he is, is mainly just jealousy and greed. (now I feel like he is super cliché 😂 Isn’t that why 99% of villains do what they do???)

    I’ve always felt like his physical appearance was too-*scans through mental dictionary to find something other than cliché*….*fails* yup, cliché. He honestly is like a perfect mix of Einstein and the scientist from Monsters vs. Aliens. I did not do that on purpose though, lol. I’ve seen a good portion of your art and you do very, very well with that sort of thing (and every other detail, but that’s not what we’re talking about) do you have any suggestions?

    I will be back to answer those questions about Chanatra, but for now here is that paragraph that gives you a little bit of detail about Dominic’s backstory. I know it is not enough, but it’s all I have at the moment 😛

    It takes place with King Hudson talking to his daughter in her room at the palace. It’s part of the rough draft- I know, it needs some work.

    “The previous king of Endoveria, king Remington, was my grandfather. My father had died in a war when I was young and me and Dominic, my cousin, lived here. We were like sons to my grandfather, so we didn’t know who was to be next in line after king Remington had passed of old age. We let the people choose and they chose me as their next king. Ever since this Dominic has had a grudge against me and my family. Since you were born, that would put him fourth in line.”

    "There are no mistakes, only happy accidents."
    -Bob Ross

    #133944
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    1) Is this a villain you think you would actually be scared of if you got on the wrong side of?

    Overall I’d say it all depends on how you use him. Right now he seems kinda adorably grouchy and that would be terrifying if he retained that attitude while doing something truly horrific. I wouldn’t be scared of him unless I knew he was capable of real violence, but if he was his whole personality would make that doubly scary.

    2) Does he seem different from your average ‘bad guy’?

    He seems fairly average at the moment but you could probably use that to your advantage if you made people think he was predictable with cliches and then you suddenly pulled a plot twist breaking cliché-expectations.

    3) Does he sound like a boy!? (This might be a weird question, but since I’m a girl all of my characters seem to sound more like girls. Lol, I might have to start a thread on how to avoid that…)

    Honestly I stopped caring about whether my characters sounded girly or guyish long ago. As long as they’re fully rounded, authentic people break all the gender stereotypes ya want (yeah he sounds like a guy).

    4) Is his physical appearance too cliché?

    His physical appearance gives you cliché expectations that you can find with most villain appearance and I don’t think that’s a problem as long as you handle it right, esp if you’re aware of the cliché you’re using and use it to trick the reader into a false sense of security in the ‘predictability’ of the character.

    5) If you were reading my book, would you get excited or would you moan if you came to a chapter that is about him? (based on personality, not plot )

    I enjoy reading about him because he’s funny and quirky so I’d be really cool to channel that so the reader underestimates his evilness until too late. Or it could just be a matter of ‘how can someone so identifiably grumpy do these evil things?’

    6) Is Dominic one that you would want to remember later on, or is he more one that you think you could easily forget about?

    Again it depends on what he does in the story. If he just accidentally nearly destroys the world I’d probably tag him as an amusing plot-booster more than a villain. But if he very carefully ruins the life of somebody in the story I care about with intent and does so in an almost irreparable way esp if he betrays someone to do it, I’d say he’d make a terrifying villain. Especially if he has no idea why anyone would feel betrayed by it and sees his actions as normal or even commendable.

    7) What is your overall opinion of him?

    Overall, I’d legit read a slice of life about his misadventures as an MC, he’s pretty cute especially with his *attitude*.

    What really stands out about her, if anything?

    Her persona; I wonder if she chooses that one because it’s convenient or because some part of her wants to be saved and for once be the damsel in the distress for someone to care enough about to help. Maybe she’s projecting her victimhood onto her ‘helpless’ persona.

    I know the whole assassin thing is kinda a cliche by now, but I couldn’t help myself XD Does it feel overdone and stereotypical?

    I think her character is very interesting and layered, especially her subtly conflicting motives like her constant emphasis that she enjoys this lifestyle but the consistent little details of her subconsciously mourning her lost ‘normalcy’ and ‘innocence’.

    Do you think she’s more morally gray or a true villain and is her situation her own fault?

    Yes. XD

    Well, this is a great idea I guess I better try with Connel:

    1) What aspects–if any–do you find relatable in him?

    2) Is there anything about him that’s genuinely chilling or is he just kinda bland?

    3) How would you describe him esp if you hadn’t been told he was a villain?

    4) Is there anything that stands out about him?

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #133949
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @erynne

    You’re so welcome, I’m glad I could help!

    I honestly struggle with every part of character development which is why a good majority of my characters are just not good.

    The backstory and motivations you have so far are great starting points! And I totally get what you’re talking about. Developing characters is hard! I’ve struggled with it endlessly, but don’t worry. The first draft characters are always flat, dull, and boring. (Trust me, mine were awful!) As you keep writing them, they’ll drop little bits of information you can piece together and before you know it, your characters are fascinating!

    And what motivates him to be this evil scientist he is, is mainly just jealousy and greed. (now I feel like he is super cliché   Isn’t that why 99% of villains do what they do???)

    That’s a good starting point, but you can always think it a little deeper. Here’s something I got from the backstory that may help.

    We let the people choose and they chose me as their next king. Ever since this Dominic has had a grudge against me and my family.

    So, if you think about it, that’s a very logical reaction. A majority of people simply rejected him and preferred his cousin. That must have hurt! It’s a major rejection and blew his chances of a future he probably dreamed about. Even if they had a reason, people often can’t see their own faults, so Dominic probably blames someone else, apparently the king and his family. So he probably feels that the king stole his chance at a throne.

    When you’re developing characters, three things you can think about are their ghost, their lie, and what they want most. (You may know some of this stuff already, but I’ll summarize it real quick 😉 )

    A ‘ghost’ is a character term for a past event or series of events that dramatically shaped a character’s worldview and how they viewed themselves.

    On that basis, they formed a misbelief. About how people see them, how the world works, or even what they are. That’s their biggest lie, and fixing that misbelief is what character arcs are about. This lie influences every part of their life and keeps them from being happy or fulfilled.

    And what they want the most is something that they believe will fix the big, gaping hole their ghost left. It’s usually a very specific thing that they’ll spend the entire story pursuing.

    These are actually character arc principles, but I’ve found they’re great for simply developing characters, even those who don’t have arcs because these things influence them so dramatically.

    Here’s an example:

    Chantara’s ghost is that she joined the assassins, and since that time she’s been doing genuinely awful stuff that really upsets her and makes her unhappy.

    Her lie is that she isn’t actually doing anything wrong, and whoever she kills, she’s actually helping her friends and her tribe, and that way she can help keep the peace. She’s also lying to herself that she doesn’t mind being an assassin. She tries to tell herself that she’s happy and fulfilled and that the leaders know what’s best.

    Her want… well, I’m not entirely sure about this one yet. It might be that she wants to stop doubting what she’s accepted as true, so she wants to truly believe that she’s doing the right thing. She also wants to keep her friends and herself safe.

    Now, applying this to Dominic:

    It sounds like his ghost is how he got rejected by the people who chose his cousin as the king. I can imagine this hurt him because it made him feel as if his cousin is better. So, I think he believes he isn’t good enough.

    So his lie is probably that he isn’t good enough, and that he has to prove himself to be as good as his cousin. (Or, maybe his lie is that his cousin cheated him, but that doesn’t give you as much internal conflict)

    His want seems pretty obvious: He wants the throne because he believes that if he has that, he’ll have proved to everyone, and himself, that he’s good/noble/smart/whatever else.

    I might have it wrong, but that’s just an idea for what he might be thinking. Basically, you just have to think like your character ‘How did this make him feel?’

    I’ve found that always gives me a jumpstart on developing them, and from there it’s easier to add more layers and depth.

     I’ve seen a good portion of your art and you do very, very well with that sort of thing (and every other detail, but that’s not what we’re talking about) do you have any suggestions?

    Aww, thank you! Okay, lemme see…

    I usually develop character appearances based on a few things:

    1. Ethnicity. If it’s in a fantasy country, is the climate hotter than usual, like a desert? If it is, it’s more realistic for characters to have darker skin, hair, and eyes. This isn’t a universal thing though, since diversity is everywhere.

    2. Once you picked an ethnicity that makes sense, you probably have a range of hair colors and eye colors to pick from. I usually pick one pretty randomly, just trying to make the characters look different.

    3. Age. Once you know your character’s age, you can decide whether they look older or younger than they are. People under a lot of stress seem to age faster, for example, and younger people who are short often get estimated younger than they are, and vice versa. It’s not really that important, but if a character in their forties looks ten years older than they are, it could tell your audience that they worry a lot.

    4. Lifestyle. How much do they exercise? Are they outside or inside more? Do they do any sports/martial arts? All of these will influence what your character looks like.

    5. Choices. This is the fun part! How does the character try to present themselves? Do they try to look intimidating or approachable? Do they spend a lot of time on their appearance or are they very haphazard and careless? Do they wear a lot of jewelry/accessories? What colors do they prefer? For all of these questions, you could probably work out why too.

    Here’s an example of how I decided on two of my character’s appearances:

    Liorah, my MC, lives in a desert country, so her skin is dark olive, and she spends a lot of time outside, so she’s quite tanned.

    She wears her hair long, down to her hips, both because it’s usual in her tribe and because it takes less maintenance. She usually wears it back in a braid because she doesn’t want it getting in her face when she’s doing stuff, but she often forgets to cover it against the sun, so it’s bleached lighter near the ends. This also tells the reader that she’s kind of careless.

    She’s quite athletic and does a lot of outdoor activities, so she’s more muscular than most girls her age.

    Chantara lives in the same country, but she’s a Kezbe and many Kezbes have the trait that they have fairly dark hair and skin, but light eyes. This has some worldbuilding behind it too, but I won’t get into that now.

    She has a lot of scars, because of her lifestyle as an assassin, she gets hurt often. She’s very active since her role requires it. She wears her hair to her shoulders because it’s long enough to pin back out of her face but short enough that she doesn’t have to spend much time taking care of it. She also has long side bangs that get in her face a lot. This has absolutely no reasoning behind it except the fact that asymmetry is more fun to draw. XD

    Honestly, I don’t really overthink appearances, it’s kinda intuitive, and it doesn’t matter that much in the end.

    Hope that helps you!

     

     

     

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #133950
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Her persona; I wonder if she chooses that one because it’s convenient or because some part of her wants to be saved and for once be the damsel in the distress for someone to care enough about to help. Maybe she’s projecting her victimhood onto her ‘helpless’ persona.

    Ooh, cool! I think it’s probably both, though I hadn’t actually thought about that. I think she feels very helpless in her situation but keeps lying to herself that she has control, because otherwise, she couldn’t cope. I think that makes it a lot easier for her to play that role.

    I can’t wait until she finally cracks and drops the persona, because that version of her is awesome. It terrifies me, and she’s genuinely awful when she switches into ‘assassin mode’ but it’s so much fun to write.

    I think her character is very interesting and layered, especially her subtly conflicting motives like her constant emphasis that she enjoys this lifestyle but the consistent little details of her subconsciously mourning her lost ‘normalcy’ and ‘innocence’.

    Thank you! I’m glad that worked! Yeah, subconsciously, Chantara feels awful about this whole situation and she feels extremely powerless, but she keeps lying to herself about it because a. What else could she do if she left the assassins? There’s nothing left for her after that and b. She can’t leave or change her situation so she tries to convince herself that she’s happy with it. Pretending everything’s alright is a coping mechanism that isn’t really that sustainable though, so she slips up on that often.

    It’s almost a waste that Chantara’s character came out so well because now I’m getting way too attached to her and she’s trying to take over the story. She’s the kind of side character that ends up getting a spinoff series XD (Though, she honestly gives me the shivers. You should see the stuff she’s done in-story! Yipes!)

    1) What aspects–if any–do you find relatable in him?

    His sense of humor is fun, though I haven’t seen much of his internal conflict yet.

    2) Is there anything about him that’s genuinely chilling or is he just kinda bland?

    Hmm, I haven’t seen him do or even think anything genuinely chilling yet, but that might change as the situation gets more dangerous. He seems like the kind of villain who seems normal until you get him worked up.

    3) How would you describe him esp if you hadn’t been told he was a villain?

    He seems quite proud, confident, and calculating. I think he feels superior to a lot of people. He acts charming, but I don’t think he actually likes people.

    4) Is there anything that stands out about him?

    Hmm, as I said before, he seems very proud and I think that if he got angry, he’d be really dangerous.

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #133951
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @rose-colored-fancy

    Wow, thank you!

    Everything you said makes perfect sense and it all lines up with his role in my story. I will definitely be using your suggestions. Thanks again!

     


    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Thank you for your opinion! That definitely gives me something to consider. I really don’t want to go in and change everything about him so your idea is for sure sounding amazing right now XD I think what I will end up doing is give him a new look but keep his personality the same since everyone seems to like it. (that will for sure be going on Rose’s thread) I can make his ‘transformation’ part of what happens in the castle later on. That way know one is confused, and who knows, his new look might bring on some other new things *evil grin*

    Also, I love how you think his personality is “pretty cute” and “adorable” 😂

    I really appreciate all of your help!

    "There are no mistakes, only happy accidents."
    -Bob Ross

    #134073
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @erynne

    Awesome! Glad I could help!

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

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