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The Main Character is the Villain?

I didn't see the part in the OP where Cinderella was just acting like a general slut. In the description, she uses her sexuality to move upward in society by seducing one guy and flirting/befriending others. I think it's a great issue to explore because people have done and still use their attractiveness to get ahead. Also, in the original Cinderella, the prince "fell in love" with her because she was beautiful and well-dressed. That's absolutely crappy! This Cinderella's decisions are cunning, and they could very well get her the prize if Griffin's version of prince follows the fairy tale. I like exploring the negative implications in fairy tale scenarios, so I'd read this story.

Um, using sexuality to move upward in society by seducing people and flirting with the intention of manipulating someone is slutty behavior. Yeah people use this to get ahead but with great cost to the people they walk over.

Falling in love with someone who's 'beautiful and well-dressed' isn't 'crappy'! You are first attracted to someone because you see something beautiful or attractive in them, and being well-dressed is just taking good care of yourself. Unless the person is dressed intentionally to be sexually alluring in which case you'd be right.

I enjoy fairy tales where the story is retold with the heroes as villains or visa versa, but if a story is just about some jerk trampling people to get what they want... why would you write or read that? I'm not trying to pick a fight, just sayin'...


I didn't like how easily the word "slut" was thrown out there because she slept with one person and flirted with others. She's manipulative, but I wouldn't use insults about sexual promiscuity without reading the story.

Being attracted to someone's looks and style is fine, but falling in "love" with that person and wanting to marry them? It would be a different story, literally, if the prince wanted to get to know Cinderella. I think in the movie The Glass Slipper, he liked her before her transformation, but that's not a common approach.

Fairy tales boil everything down to their simplest components, and I think it's fun for a story to tackle those unrealistic qualities.

why would you write or read that? I'm not trying to pick a fight, just sayin'...

I'm not sure if this is a genuine question, but I'll answer. I'd write or read a story like this because I'm drawn to darker stories. Edgar Allan Poe, George RR Martin and Angela Carter are some of authors I like, and they all have a few characters who aren't admirable.

Regarding fairy tales, it's not unusual for a woman's worth to be tied exclusively to her attractiveness. There are fairy tales with intelligent or lucky females, but more frequently the woman should simply look pretty and be the prize. If she's pretty, she's also a good person. The most virtuous woman in a fairy tale is frequently the most attractive.

I don't see anything wrong with showing the ugly side of fairy tales, where there's more to a woman than a pretty face.

I'm not sure what Griffin's goals are, but I'm curious about both stories.
I guess another corollary of my above post is one of the features (IMHO) of bad literature. As I suggested, in good literature nothing happens by accident. But it does in bad literature. I cannot bear stories where the author and editor (if there is one) are so lazy they leave half written threads unresolved. It drives me mad when (so called) writers leave noise in the narrative.
I didn't like how easily the word "slut" was thrown out there because she slept with one person and flirted with others. She's manipulative, but I wouldn't use insults about sexual promiscuity without reading the story.

Wouldn't seducing someone to get them to give you something be considered prostitution? Really I thought that was the whole definition, selling your body for material gain and all. So doesn't doing that qualify her as a slut?

I was genuinely asking earlier I've never enjoyed reading books where you don't respect or admire the MC or anyone else in the book. But I guess it's just a difference of preference. Thanks for answering.

If she's pretty, she's also a good person. The most virtuous woman in a fairy tale is frequently the most attractive.

Unless you're the evil queen in Snow White. :) I really like the book "Despereaux" where one of the MCs is a lumpy and half-deaf serving maid who was named after her father's prize sow. But anyway, off topic...


First off, I would like to thank everyone for their posts. They were all really helpful and insightful.

Secondly, why the hate on my Cinderella? :tongue: To be fair, I gave a simple overview of her character. There is more complexity than "a slut getting her way." Using her looks and sexual appeal to obtain something is nothing new. For thousands of years, women were based solely on their looks in many cultures. My Cinderella is very intelligent and fairly educated, but who cares? She's pretty. It is a sad way of looking at things, but that kind of prejudice existed long ago and still has existence today. I can still hear some mothers today telling their daughters not to read books because men feel threatened by smart women. Though it doesn't happen often, it is still sad to hear that kind of thing.

In addition, I said that Cinderella got to the prince. I did not say she married him. Despite what she may think, she is still human. She does, in fact, have soft spots for certain characters. One being the younger stepsister. Another being a guard who likes Cinderella for who she is. Even the baddest of villains still have soft spots: just look at Darth Vader.

To be honest, I would not classify her as slut. But I do not feel offended if she is called that. It is just a matter of opinion and I can respect that.
Actually believe it or not morally grey edgy Cinderella is not a new thing. In older versions of the story Cinderella may of killed her own mother so her dad could get remarried and her stepmother betrayed her. Cinderella herself took revenge on her step family in the Chinease version. Even the French version could be interpreted to just have married the prince so she could win the love and approval of her step sisters. Who she seems more obsessed with in this version even wanting to eat with them over the prince.
However none of the edgy Cinderella's are as popular. Cinderella is a character that seems to attract a certain type of reader. The kind of reader who's looking for a romantic fantasy and generally like the self insert aspect of the character. This is why the most popular version of Cinderella is a character associated with virtue and enduring her abuse while being kind when its easy to be cruel. So seeing her as more callous then her step sisters is going to bother a lot of people.
Also turning an established heroic character into a bad guy is one that has mixed results. I've seen it done well but also horribly. As for the hate on your Cinderella no one likes a user who uses their looks to social climb male or female and many people can relate to being used at least once in their life and therefore tend to hate manipulators, but if she's a bad guy why does this hate bother you? Isn't that the goal?

Also if Cinderella is intelligent why doesn't she have a better plan then putting her fate into the hands of a monarch that didn't work out well for several queens were beheaded/killed? I just feel like this is not a full proof plan that could backfire horribly and is overall too complicated that her pulling it off successfully without a hitch would be highly annoying. My advice the softer moments should balance out the bad moments and there should be a moment where Cinderella could fail or is in actual danger of being found out. That way you can highlight the risks involved and showcase her intelligence by having her think on her feet. Also maybe give her some kind of charm because a girl seduceing that many guys has to have a bit more then looks. Since there would be a lot of pretty girls they could get easier, particulary the merchant. Cinderella should offer something more then the garden variety of pretty face. I've talked to guys and believe it or not looks aren't the only thing that appeals to them humor and kindness also goes along way. Guys are visual but most of them aren't that shallow believe it or not and the ones that are usually have severe self astem issues. Just some suggestions but I say go for it. There have been successful MC bad guys make them interesting and people won't care as much their asking to identify with the bad guy some readers even enjoy it. Good Luck!


Something I've noticed throughout my written works is that I have a habit of making my MCs the "bad guys." They're not unusually cruel or manipulative. Their general personalities differ, but none of them are saints.

I'll give two examples.

One is a boy who is constantly bullied at school and feels like an outcast in his own home. At a young age, he develops an imaginary friend. This 'friend' exists well into the boy's late teens. Still feeling like a loser, the boy dives into fantasy and develops a hero complex. Towards the end, the boy's mother wishes to send him to psychiatric hospital to help him through his mental problems. Well, as it turns out, the imaginary friend is nothing more but part of the boy's schizophrenic delusion and the friend encourages the boy to "slay the beast" aka his mother. The boy is not evil by any means, but he cannot be considered a hero.

Another is an alternative Cinderella. She knows that a fairy godmother won't save her, so she must take matters into her hands. She first seduces a local merchant in order to acquire nice things, like dresses and jewelry. She eventually flirts and befriends numerous people to get what she wants and climbs her way to the prince while leaving a trail of broken hearts behind.

Sorry for the long nonsense, but my question is: if the MC wasn't really the good guy, would that be a major turnoff? They're not cliched villains who want to destroy the world because they can. I seem to be unable to make my MCs goody two-shoes. They're still human with obvious flaws. I'm just curious if bad guys for MCs is a turnoff or a good thing?

To a large degree I think the answer depends on where the story ends up and what the purpose of the tale is.

Readers want characters they can identify with, and an ending that satisfies them. I am pretty sure people could identity with both of these characters and be interested in how things turn out for them.

The pay off is the tricky and important part. Does C just get her way to the top and live with no comeuppance or realization, redemption change or loss due to her behaviour? Pretty dull and uninteresting. But if the prince bails on her for sexier younger woman at some point? Then you got some powerful stuff!

How does tit turn out for the young man with e mother issues? IF he just kills his mom and gets punished, once again, not so interesting. What is the twist or outcome that makes the story interesting? Does the boy recover? Is the boy just the delusion and the real person the friend? Does his mother change? Does the boy overcome something?

Those questions will really determine how viable your "anti-hero" storey ideas are.