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Eminence

The Writers' Room

Recommended Posts

Eminence

 

I think Mokrie means an antihero there have been loads. Like Cole from inFamous etc.

I know that, I'm asking him to clarify what exactly he means - because we've talked about this before and all the definitions get very muddy. There are different permutations of what we're talking about (I don't mean to be pedantic about semantics, by the way - I'm genuinely interested).

 

An antihero is still our hero - our protagonist. What I'm trying to say is that it's rare that the character we follow, we like, we empathise with - the protagonist - is not also our "hero". The person we root for, whether they're bad, good or morally ambiguous.

 

Breaking Bad is a perfect example to illustrate this (though it gets more complex as it continues, and there are various shades of morality in there). Walt is, for all intents and purposes, a bad guy. He's not morally good. He's the perfect definition of an antihero.

 

And yet, he's our hero. He's our protagonist. We root for him. There's always a villain that we want to see him vanquish, whether that's Tuco, the twins, Gus etc.

 

As I say, the lines become blurred later on in the show, and that's part of what makes it so enjoyable. (You could argue that, heading into the end of season 5, Walt is now the villain, while Jesse is our hero, our protagonist... but it's subjective. Plus, who doesn't root for Gus?! Love that guy.)

 

But at its core, good and bad aside, Walt is still our hero.

 

Show me an antihero protagonist that we don't root for. That's what I'm saying.

 

Because taken at face value, what Mokrie seems to be describing is a story where the protagonist is the villain. Not an antihero, not morally ambiguous - but literally the villain squaring off against a likeable hero. It might exist, but I can't think of anything off the top of my head... I'd be really interested if anyone could think of one?

 

Gun to my head, I'd say it's impossible for this sort of thing to exist because, by its nature, when presented the world from a certain character's point of view we can't help but become aligned with it in some way - so whether they're morally good or not, their villains become our villains, for example.

Edited by Eminence

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VProductions

Oh, I get what you mean now. In that case I don't there has been one. I have never seen one I don't think

 

 

Edit: Postal 2?

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AceRay

TV Tropes to the rescue!

 

Villain Protagonist: The main character is the villain

Hero Antagonist:The good guys oppose the main characters.

Anti-Hero:A hero that lacks the proper traits of a hero.

 

Villain Protagonists are usually Anti-Villains, to make us root for them because otherwise we get Audience Induced Apathy when have too much Black and Black morality. If everyone is a massive d*ck who we don't care about, why should the audience care?

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Typhus

Thanks for the advice, Em smile.gif

I am writing something that will instantly give the reader a sense of who the hero is. He is quite distant from real people because of how he grew up, but by giving him an unshakable sense of justice - I can make him a good guy, without being too hokey. God willing.

At the moment I'm thinking of how to get him to a certain place and still retain the audiences sympathy.

 

Let me give you a basic rundown - the hero is a boy who lives in the woods with an old man. Let's just say that the hero is a bastard in the literal sense, and because of this fact the old man never thought to give the child a name or even keep track of how old he is. He's just a child and he wants to go to the big city and become a Knight. The old man really should be alive at the end of the story, but I'm trying to figure out how to write the boy leaving without it seeming heartless or cruel.

 

I mean, he raised the kid poorly but he did raise him. I wouldn't want it to blow up in my face and have people thinking that the hero was a heartless c*nt who left a sick old man to die in the woods.

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VProductions

First time I have heard of TV Tropes, lol I didnt even know what a trope was. Nice website, very helpful (y)

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Eminence

 

Villain Protagonist: The main character is the villain

I don't honestly think that's what I'm talking about, though. That page is listing people who are objectively villains yet are the heroes of the story; they're "the" villains as opposed to "our" villains. I mean, it lists people like Dexter or Patrick Bateman. By objective standards, yes, they're "villains", but they're our heroes. We root for them, regardless of their morality.

 

I'm a bit unsure as to what distinction that page is drawing between "villain protagonists" and "antiheroes" to be honest. I understand what they're going for - their intended distinction - but then a lot of their examples are blatantly antiheroes.

 

I haven't looked at absolutely everything on the list, so perhaps I'm missing some 'true' examples of it - I'm seeing a lot where you could argue the point, though. And I'd draw a distinction between a story with a protagonist shift, where the original hero morphs into the villain and our investment becomes aligned with a new character (like The Social Network, for example).

 

Also, you say "Villain Protagonists are usually Anti-Villains" - isn't this contradictory? Seems it to me.

 

I don't know, haha, the terminology here is all getting very confusing. At least to me. tounge.gif

 

--

 

Typhus -- that sounds like a really interesting setup to me. I, for one, love the moral ambiguity of it... and frankly I like the idea of viewing the character as potentially a bit heartless for abandoning this guy. I think the way to do this would be first, get us to like the protagonist, and second, get us to share his desire to get out of this life and move to the city. The easiest way to do that would be to make the old guy distinctly unlikeable; a more subtle, nuanced approach might be more effective/believable, though.

 

Though to be honest, knowing a little of how your particular mind works, I think that no matter how unlikeable or evil this old guy is, you would perceive the kid as heartless and ungrateful for his abandonment, whereas many others would see it as escaping. That's just down to your personal value system, though.

 

--

 

@VP - TV Tropes is a great site. Be careful, though, you can get lost on it for hours.

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Mokrie Dela

I like stories where the 'hero' is the bad guy though

Do you mean where the hero is a bad guy? I can't think of many instances where you're, strictly speaking, on the side of the 'villain' against another hero. There's always someone worse - the antagonist... at least from the protagonist's point of view.

 

@ MoSA: It's a little too vague and generic to really review it. Guy sets out to prevent an organisation nuking the world. Okay... what else have you got? What's unique about your take on this pretty standard trope?

 

Also, a little note about when you're giving us your story's logline - the sentence-long summary. It doesn't help to give us character names; give us character traits. Instead of "Jason Black sets out on a mission to stop an organisation from nuking the world", it's much more interesting to say "A small-time criminal changes his ways to prevent a mysterious organisation nuking the world". It tells us more, not only about the character but about the story's arc as a whole.

 

Plus, that way you don't have to waste time giving us a character bio. We can infer all of this information from that single sentence.

I think Mokrie means an antihero there have been loads. Like Cole from inFamous etc.

Breaking Bad. inlove.gif

This

I've seen very little of breaking bad (I know I know) but it appears he's what I crave

My choice of words wasn't great. The lead character/protagonist is always OUR hero, as em said, but in my experience there's always an honourable thing pushing him. There's always a saving grace, a loophole for his soul.

 

What I'm trying to do with my western for example, is have my character NOT be spurred on by love, or justice. I want him corrupt, I want him the devil incarnate!

 

The problem is motivation. 9/10 we back the guy on an epic quest, to slag the design and free the townsfolk. I want the lead character to BE the dragon, for his personal evil to triumph.

 

I keep thinking of the MICE acronym that makes people do thinks (money, ideology, corruption (i can never remember the c!)or ego) but it keeps coming back to the same thing - how can my normal guy connect with a lowlife such as my character?

 

There pretty much HAS to be a reason behind it. Revenge is a common theme from the west but its almost cliched. Greed? He wants it all? Hmmm

 

 

It's hard to explain, but it's the same part of you that, while playing gta, drives on the sidewalk making pedestrian stew. Some kind of malevolent glee? Th darker side of our souls? I want my character to make the reader connect but also to feel uncomfortable with themselves in a way, because we all have dark desires or thoughts

 

The term antihero I find too soft. It seems to refer to a tough guy or a ends-justify-the-means guy, not a guy who doesn't CARE about that but is in it for himself

 

I'm aware that there has to be something that makes the reader want to cheer him on but I don't want to make my apparent bad guy a good guy after all.

 

Really I want to invert the concept of a hero, or a good guy, and hold a mirror up to the dark sides of ourselves. I'm not the first to try this but in my mind I want something more... Bad guy-ish

I wanna write about led Luthor, not superman

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AceRay
Also, you say "Villain Protagonists are usually Anti-Villains" - isn't this contradictory? Seems it to me.

I guess an anti-villain is sort of like a villain with sympathetic motivations, and you can still follow the villain if they have sympathetic backgrounds and traits, meaning that its still an anti villain and a villain protagonist.

 

Its just that when the story follows a completely hateful character, its hard to get involved in the story as why should we care about that character?

 

There's a very fine line between anti hero and anti villain, which is why there's a sliding scale of anti heroes ranging from good to bad on TV Tropes, as well as Anti Villains. Basically, the point of anti-villain/hero to blur the lines between good and bad, black and white etc. The stories with these sorts of characters are much more likely to have a grey and grey moraltiy or some variation of it rather than it just being a simple case of good vs evil. And why yes, I have often spent hours on TV Tropes reading endless pages. turn.gif

 

tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SlidingScaleOfAntiHeroes

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main...eOfAntiVillains

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Mokrie Dela

My lord, were having an actual discussion!

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Eminence

Yeah, so you're summing up exactly what I've been saying... which concludes with the hypothesis that there is no true "villain protagonist", because by definition the act of following the character makes us engaged with them, we begin to see their point of view and they become our/the story's hero, their villains become our villains etc. etc.

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AceRay
Yeah, so you're summing up exactly what I've been saying... which concludes with the hypothesis that there is no true "villain protagonist", because by definition the act of following the character makes us engaged with them, we begin to see their point of view and they become our/the story's hero, their villains become our villains etc. etc.

Well, several pieces of work have tried to have a completely amoral main character but it often falls into Darkness Induced Audience Apathy, where the audience won't care because the main characters are unlikeable assholes like Kane and Lynch or something.

 

You can theoretically, however, try to make the audience despise the main character and root for the hero antagonist of the tale, so therefore the hero antagonist becomes "our" hero and we're still rooting against the villain protagonist.

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Ziggy455

I don't really like to name characters by the professional terms. Yes, my main character is the protagonist, yes, the bad guy is the antagonist, I get it. But stories are subjective; I think if you want to make a very REAL character, then you can't just assume somebody is a villain. Hell, repeating parts of the discussion here but the villain can be determined by the audience. Exactly how Eminence has explained Breaking Bad.

 

You can label a character as whatever you want but in the end, no matter WHAT the circumstance; it is up to the audience to determine who they believe is the bad guy or the good guy.

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Eminence

You know, that's a great point.

 

Sorry Mokrie, consider this discussion over. tounge.gif

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VProductions

New Discussion: Novel vs Game Script tounge.gif

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Eminence

Game scripts can be fun, I guess. But the only place you're ever, ever, ever going to see one is on a forum.

 

Actual scripts for video games would, I'm pretty sure, look nothing like the things you might read here. I think I'm going to research that, though, because it's an interesting idea.

 

Novels, on the other hand? Well, that's a universal medium.

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Ziggy455

I'll be handing out ass-kicking comments all week! Get em while they're hot.

 

I like novels.

 

I like game scripts.

 

Each have their own aesthetic, thematic, and awesome advantages. No need to compare.

 

 

Unrelated topic: I'll be critiquing more work in the ensuing days. I wanna read some work, not read you explaining your work. Isn't that sort of defeating the purpose of writing a story? Let me SEE what you're gonna do with your character- don't tell me!

 

Second unrelated note: Next part of Innocence & Loneliness is up. Somebody go tear the sh*t out of it mercilessly until I'm crying on the floor in a foetal position.

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Mokrie Dela
You know, that's a great point.

 

Sorry Mokrie, consider this discussion over. tounge.gif

Right, so fan fiction...

 

I'm joking tounge.gif

 

 

I can never get into scripts. I've seen some that I'm sure are brilliant but to me it just seems.... Like half of a story. Game scripts or film scripts. I don't offer feedback on them because I simply can't. Perhaps I'm lesser skilled than others, but they're lost on me. My own personal opinion - I'm NOT saying novels are better, just that scripts aren't my thing

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VProductions

Well, when I first came here, I liked narratives, then later on I liked it even more. But now I have tried gamescripts I love it straight away. My file with Vice on it went missing from my computer so that's kinda delayed until I get further into 18 Months sad.gif. But even if I loose the files for 18 Months, its gonna carry on, I have to do it. Also I'm probably going to write a gore oneshot tounge.gif

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Ziggy455

 

Right, so fan fiction...

 

 

 

No more...Please...Oh God, the screams!

 

In all honesty it doesn't matter about what format or delivery system we're given; it's the story that matters at the end of the day.

 

Also, funny story; I showed my Innocence & Loneliness to a few friends. They were like "Have you created your own waifu?" May sombody please enlighten me to what the f*ck a waifu is? I know it's wife in Japanese but I get the feeling that's not what my friends were snickering about. Somehow, there's a completely new meaning of the word. After them asking me this I could only respond with:

 

user posted image

Edited by Ziggy455

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Tyler

Scripts are pretty cool. I find myself basically doing those because of how long the dialogue sections of certain scenes are. At the end of the day the presentation aspect of it appeals to the showman in me.

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Tycek

@Ziggy455

 

The most plausible explanation about Waifu I've found is: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/waifu

I don't know if it fits your situation with friends though.

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Ziggy455
@Ziggy455

 

The most plausible explanation about Waifu I've found is: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/waifu

I don't know if it fits your situation with friends though.

So a waifu is like having a crush on an imaginary friend? What the f*ck are my friends talking about? bored.gif

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Eminence

 

to me it just seems.... Like half of a story. Game scripts or film scripts.

Then you, sir, are wrong.

 

I love screenwriting. It's pretty much all I do now. The form appeals to me so much, not in terms of its presentation (format) but just the way you tell the story. It's minimalism gone wild. People throw around the notion of analysing every word, debating its meaning, deciding whether to cut or keep - but many don't actually do this. In screenwriting it's a prerequisite - you really, really have to do it. You have to pack as much information as possible into as small a space as possible, and you have to let the characters live or die by their actions alone; plus, you have to learn to tell a story visually.

 

Basically, I love the fact that you can't use your prose as a storytelling crutch or as a wall to hide behind. With prose, it's easy to lapse into telling something. Screenplays you have no choice but to show.

 

It may not be your thing, Mokrie, but I'd actually recommend investigating it and potentially writing your own - even if you only write the one. If you do it properly, you'll learn so much that you can then take away and apply to your prose writing.

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Ziggy455

 

to me it just seems.... Like half of a story. Game scripts or film scripts.

Then you, sir, are wrong.

 

I love screenwriting. It's pretty much all I do now. The form appeals to me so much, not in terms of its presentation (format) but just the way you tell the story. It's minimalism gone wild. People throw around the notion of analysing every word, debating its meaning, deciding whether to cut or keep - but many don't actually do this. In screenwriting it's a prerequisite - you really, really have to do it. You have to pack as much information as possible into as small a space as possible, and you have to let the characters live or die by their actions alone; plus, you have to learn to tell a story visually.

 

Basically, I love the fact that you can't use your prose as a storytelling crutch or as a wall to hide behind. With prose, it's easy to lapse into telling something. Screenplays you have no choice but to show.

 

It may not be your thing, Mokrie, but I'd actually recommend investigating it and potentially writing your own - even if you only write the one. If you do it properly, you'll learn so much that you can then take away and apply to your prose writing.

I have to agree with Eminence. Sure, I like to write prose, but I'm also an avid reader and writer of screenplays. I love the minimalism of it. You have to remember it's a prelude to a visual standard, and how you see it on the page is sort of like a pre-amplified visual version. And how do you create a spellbinding story by telling and not showing? You make sure the script has packed tightly with all the descriptive visual components needed to make the story flow.

 

I love both formats. Ironically, I plan my scenes in script-format and then use them as a reference for writing in prose.

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VProductions

I just mindmap everything to plan lol.

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Tyler

Any of you folks keep personal blogs? I've been trying to work out my old blog: what I want to do with it and all that. I'd be interested in seeing what you guys write about on a daily/weekly basis that isn't totally related to a narrative story or script.

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VProductions
Any of you folks keep personal blogs? I've been trying to work out my old blog: what I want to do with it and all that. I'd be interested in seeing what you guys write about on a daily/weekly basis that isn't totally related to a narrative story or script.

I have never had a blog, I have only heard of a blog a few times, what is it exactly?

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Ziggy455
Any of you folks keep personal blogs? I've been trying to work out my old blog: what I want to do with it and all that. I'd be interested in seeing what you guys write about on a daily/weekly basis that isn't totally related to a narrative story or script.

I have never had a blog, I have only heard of a blog a few times, what is it exactly?

Sort of like an online diary where you upload short articles about your life, your cats, or other things. Blogs are used widely all over the world now since the inception of the interwebz.

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Typhus

I like screenplays as much as the next guy, but there's not a f*cking chance I'm reading one posted on this site.

Why?

 

One - it's 99% fan fiction, which instantly stops me from reading even a single paragraph of it.

 

Two - this site is simply not the place to post scripts. If Eminence had a screenplay I would gladly read it if he sent it to me as a PDF or something.

Basically, I would only read it if I could give it the attention and enthusiasm it deserved. But on a forum? Not a chance.

 

Scripts are incredibly in-depth, difficult things to pull off. This really isn't the place to share them.

As I said, if anyone wrote one, I'd only read it in a setting where I could give it the attention it deserved. And even then, that would be dependent on me respecting the basic competence of the author.

 

They take so much damn effort to write that I cannot in good conscience read and critique one unless I have done the author the kindness of dedicating my full attention to their work. Something only a handful of folks around here would ever compel me to do.

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Ziggy455

READ THIS.

 

It's a script I wrote. It's not fan-fiction. We do exist out there, the people who stray from the path of INT. ROMANZ APURTMENT - NIKO SHOTS DAH BAD GUISE.

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