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Lust for Power

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Midnight Rose, Jul 1, 2020.

  1. Midnight Rose

    Midnight Rose New Member

    So I have a character that has a lust for power, but I'm not really sure how she acquired it. she is the villain of the story, she kills most of her family to win the throne. and she is also the only girl of 5 siblings, her older brothers are basically ruthless generals.
    help pretty please, totally lost with this character
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    What do you mean by that phrase, "lust for power"?

    She wants the throne--you state that. Why does she want that? What does she want to do with it?
  3. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    Does she lust after power out of a desire to protect herself or others? Who hurt her? What did she do to punish them? Personally, I like sympathetic antagonists and often there is a lot of pain that goes into their creation. We have a series antagonist who's a real nightmare, but it's because she's out to protect herself from being hurt again. 3100 years of surviving at all costs.
  4. Lynea

    Lynea Sage

    I suppose there's nothing wrong with having a villain whose motivation comes from a pure desire to be evil...sometimes that works for a story. But I do see your point. Perhaps your character needs a strong source of motivation to make them act as they do. It sounds like she has motivation already, being the only girl amongst her brothers. Perhaps they've looked down on her all her life, limiting her ambitions to be powerful. It sounds like they just want to look out for their young sister, and she takes it upon herself to be a strong leader like them.
  5. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

    Kind of the same answer as the others. What is she after with this lust of power for the fancy chair and the heavy crown? She a reformist? A revolutionary who see's only warhawks and warmongering and watching it destroy the kingdom? Yes, generally killing off family is bad. But what makes her the villain in this power grab (outside of familiacide). Ambition is not necessarily evil in of itself.

    Honestly you might want to explore her a lot more. What makes her tick? Why does she do what she does? What's a day like with her? Explore with her a little. It doesn't have to come up in the story, but maybe she fancies her steaks all charred and bloody and drenched in mushroom ketchup. Or takes self days to go fishing down at the local lake. Or long nights in the library finding new and creative ways to make the kingdom better.
    A. E. Lowan likes this.
  6. I like to pull back when creating a character with an outsized desire for anything. Look around you and at the people you've known throughout your life. Maybe you know someone who had an intense desire to own a particular type of house or car, or open a business. Look at what drove them. Is it their idealized version of success? Their sibling rivalries? Maybe you know siblings who fought tooth and nail for attention or to be considered the "best" in their family. Maybe you knew someone who went a little to far to get that good grade or that promotion? Maybe you saw others around them and near to them suffer for those single minded pursuits? Maybe you saw friends pushed to the point of breaking by overreaching parents who wanted to dictate their lives? The world is still filled with cultures that relegate children (woman especially) to roles that limit their possible paths forward. Maybe she grew up fighting for her life against that?

    Though the end result can be extraordinary, I try not to overlook ordinary beginnings, small events, that will allow her to connect with your readers.
  7. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

    Whatever the motivation is, it needs to be linked to the plot.

    Yes, I know...I always say that.
  8. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

    Perhaps she has been mistreated throughout her life, or even all women. She wants power to control her own life. It could be early on she had a small taste of power and is longing to gain more. She could have power that's being exploited by others and she's working to gain control. It could be she's simply evil and wants to be able to control everyone else.
  9. Midnight Rose

    Midnight Rose New Member

    Thank you, everyone, for helping me see different ways of approaching her. usually, what I do with characters I don't really know yet is I throw them into different stories and see how they develop.

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