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Villain viewpoint - or sidekick of the villan?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Thoras, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Thoras

    Thoras Minstrel

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    Hi!

    So I'm working on my ideas for the main antagonist and I've got a pretty clear view of who he is. I'm writing in third limited perspective and I need to show the antagonist of to the reader before he clashes with the protagonist, so I feel like I should have a viewpoint on their side as well.

    The thing is I want to show the antagonist's actions, but not his thoughts. So I'm thinking I'll do a sort of side-kick for him, which in that way would show his actions and not spill his thoughts - and instead show the internal reactions of the side-kick when the antagonist does something surprising etc.

    The question I have though, is if this is a good or bad idea. Is it a good plan the way I imagined (that given I make the viewpoint side-kick character genuine and important to the plot as well of course), or should is it a bad idea to create a character primarily to show off another?

    I want to do this as the antagonist would give away somewhat to much if I spilled his thoughts for the reader.

    //Thoras
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think doing it that way can work just fine. It is important to make the sidekick interesting and engaging, in and of himself, or the reader may be bored when in his POV. Alternatively, you could do the POV for the antagonist, but simply make it a distant POV so that his thoughts are not given to the reader. The lack of internal monologue will only seem out of place if you're in a close POV to begin with.
     
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  3. Rkcapps

    Rkcapps Sage

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    I'd try writing the scene you envisage. Doesn't mean you have to include it. See if it works.
     
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  4. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    My only thought would be if you go the sidekick route, you'll need to include some sort of stroy arch for him. I've been told off by my beta and ed before now for creating a memorable character who had no story. I'd simply create him as a window on to the action. And readers want to know. Your alternative is to create him - then kill him!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  5. Thoras

    Thoras Minstrel

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    Thanks for the feedback and tips!

    I'm still considering both options, as I have continued to envision the options in my heads with your words in my mind and I can see both ideas working out. I was thinking of another thing now as I'm writing (still working on the first chapters of my protagonist) and I was thinking - if I were to do the viewpoint of the main villain, I would like to introduce him somewhat later on, like a few chapters into the book, but I'm thinking is that a bad idea as well if you are to have two viewpoint characters, and one gets a lot more pages?

    I mean the story is about the protagonist after all. As I'm a new writer I'm not sure about some of the "rules" of writing. I know some may say there are no rules, which is probably correct - but I'm sure there are a few do's and don'ts. Is it okay to do three chapters of protag before you show of the antag? Or should I try to work him into the second chapter and do every other chapter?
     
  6. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    The only real rule of writing is "does it work?" If it does, then who cares? So do your three chapters foussed on the protagonist work in terms of setting the story and investing readers? If yes, go for it. If no, find out why and fix it. It really is that simple.

    In terms of your villain your first three chapters could be simply setting him up for his big arrival on stage - outlining all the terrible things he's done etc.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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