antagonistics

“You’re not their obsession or even their enemy, you’re a business transaction.” Their rival stayed lazily where they sat, even as the argument around the room halted, even as their gaze locked intent on the protagonist. “So, let me talk business with them.”

“You think you can outbid the competition and put a better offer on the table?”

“I think you’re a pretty package that I am more than capable of selling.”

“I don’t trust you.”

“It’s business, love. Trust doesn’t come into it.” 

Your Character’s Personality

Personality is the most important thing about your character.

So, whenever I see character sheets, most people just put a little paragraph for that section. If you’re struggling and don’t know what your character should say or do, what decisions they should make, I guarantee you that this is the problem.

You know your character’s name, age, race, sexuality, height, weight, eye color, hair color, their parents’ and siblings’ names. But these are not the things that truly matter about them.

Traits: 

  • pick traits that don’t necessarily go together. For example, someone who is controlling, aggressive and vain can also be generous, sensitive and soft-spoken. Characters need to have at least one flaw that really impacts how they interact with others. Positive traits can work as flaws, too. It is advised that you pick at least ten traits
  • people are complex, full of contradictions, and please forgive me if this makes anyone uncomfortable, but even bullies can be “nice” people. Anyone can be a “bad” person, even someone who is polite, kind, helpful or timid can also be narcissistic, annoying, inconsiderate and a liar. People are not just “evil” or “good”

Beliefs:

  • ideas or thoughts that your character has or thinks about the world, society, others or themselves, even without proof or evidence, or which may or may not be true. Beliefs can contradict their values, motives, self-image, etc. For example, the belief that they are an awesome and responsible person when their traits are lazy, irresponsible and shallow. Their self-image and any beliefs they have about themselves may or may not be similar/the same. They might have a poor self-image, but still believe they’re better than everybody else

Values:

  • what your character thinks is important. Usually influenced by beliefs, their self-image, their history, etc. Some values may contradict their beliefs, wants, traits, or even other values. For example, your character may value being respect, but one of their traits is disrespectful. It is advised you list at least two values, and know which one they value more. For example, your character values justice and family. Their sister tells them she just stole $200 from her teacher’s wallet. Do they tell on her, or do they let her keep the money: justice, or family? Either way, your character probably has some negative feelings, guilt, anger, etc., over betraying their other value

Motives:

  • what your character wants. It can be abstract or something tangible. For example, wanting to be adored or wanting that job to pay for their father’s medication. Motives can contradict their beliefs, traits, values, behavior, or even other motives. For example, your character may want to be a good person, but their traits are selfish, manipulative, and narcissistic. Motives can be long term or short term. Everyone has wants, whether they realize it or not. You can write “they don’t know what they want,” but you should know. It is advised that you list at least one abstract want

Recurring Feelings:

  • feelings that they have throughout most of their life. If you put them down as a trait, it is likely they are also recurring feelings. For example, depressed, lonely, happy, etc.

Self Image:

  • what the character thinks of themselves: their self-esteem. Some character are proud of themselves, others are ashamed of themselves, etc. They may think they are not good enough, or think they are the smartest person in the world. Their self-image can contradict their beliefs, traits, values, behavior, motives, etc. For example, if their self-image is poor, they can still be a cheerful or optimistic person. If they have a positive self-image, they can still be a depressed or negative person. How they picture themselves may or may not be true: maybe they think they’re a horrible person, when they are, in fact, very considerate, helpful, kind, generous, patient, etc. They still have flaws, but flaws don’t necessarily make you a terrible person

Behavior:

  • how the character’s traits, values, beliefs, self-image, etc., are outwardly displayed: how they act. For example, two characters may have the trait “angry” but they all probably express it differently. One character may be quiet and want to be left alone when they are angry, the other could become verbally aggressive. If your character is a liar, do they pause before lying, or do they suddenly speak very carefully when they normally don’t? Someone who is inconsiderate may have issues with boundaries or eat the last piece of pizza in the fridge when they knew it wasn’t theirs. Behavior is extremely important and it is advised you think long and hard about your character’s actions and what exactly it shows about them

Demeanor:

  • their general mood and disposition. Maybe they’re usually quiet, cheerful, moody, or irritable, etc.

Posture:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality: not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Posture is how the character carries themselves. For example, perhaps they swing their arms and keep their shoulders back while they walk, which seems to be the posture of a confident person, so when they sit, their legs are probably open. Another character may slump and have their arms folded when they’re sitting, and when they’re walking, perhaps they drag their feet and look at the ground

Speech Pattern:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality: not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Speech patterns can be words that your character uses frequently, if they speak clearly, what sort of grammar they use, if they have a wide vocabulary, a small vocabulary, if it’s sophisticated, crude, stammering, repeating themselves, etc. I personally don’t have a very wide vocabulary, if you could tell

Hobbies:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality: not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Hobbies can include things like drawing, writing, playing an instrument, collecting rocks, collecting tea cups, etc.

Quirks:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality, not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Quirks are behaviors that are unique to your character. For example, I personally always put my socks on inside out and check the ceiling for spiders a few times a day

Likes:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality, not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Likes and dislikes are usually connected to the rest of their personality, but not necessarily. For example, if your character likes to do other people’s homework, maybe it’s because they want to be appreciated

Dislikes:

  • a secondary part of your character’s personality, not as important as everything else. It is advised you fill this out after. Likes and dislikes can also contradict the rest of their personality. For example, maybe one of your character’s traits is dishonest, but they dislike liars

History:

  • your character’s past that has key events that influence and shape their beliefs, values, behavior, wants, self-image, etc. Events written down should imply or explain why they are the way they are. For example, if your character is distrustful, maybe they were lied to a lot by their parents when they were a child. Maybe they were in a relationship for twenty years and found out their partner was cheating on them the whole time. If their motive/want is to have positive attention, maybe their parents just didn’t praise them enough and focused too much on the negative

On Mental and Physical Disabilities or Illnesses

  • if your character experienced a trauma, it needs to have an affect on your character. Maybe they became more angry or impatient or critical of others. Maybe their beliefs on people changed to become “even bullies can be ‘nice’ people: anyone can be a ‘bad’ person”
  • people are not their illness or disability: it should not be their defining trait. I have health anxiety, but I’m still idealistic, lazy, considerate, impatient and occasionally spiteful; I still want to become an author; I still believe that people are generally good; I still value doing what make me feel comfortable; I still have a positive self-image; I’m still a person. You should fill out your character’s personality at least half-way before you even touch on the possibility of your character having a disability or illness

Generally everything about your character should connect, but hey, even twins that grew up in the same exact household have different personalities; they value different things, have different beliefs. Maybe one of them watched a movie that had a huge impact on them.

Not everything needs to be explained. Someone can be picky or fussy ever since they were little for no reason at all. Someone can be a negative person even if they grew up in a happy home.

I believe this is a thought out layout for making well-rounded OCs, antagonists and protagonists, whether they’re being created for a roleplay or for a book. This layout is also helpful for studying Canon Characters if you’re looking to accurately roleplay as them or write them in fanfiction or whatever.

I’m really excited to post this, so hopefully I didn’t miss anything important…

If you have any questions, feel free to send a message.

- Chick

On the concept of Soulmate AUs

You know what I’m tired of? Soulmate AUs with the protagonist/antagonist ship as the main pairing that always has the villain who reacts the best to the situation, and the hero freaking out.

What I want to see is a hero who gets it, who understands that yeah, their soulmate may kind of be a murdering psychopath, but that’s cool, they can deal with that, they can live through it, but what’s not cool is them totally looking the other way and avoiding the hell out of them.

Give me the realisation that they’re soulmates in the middle of a fight, when they’re bloody and bruised and tired and they just slip, skin on skin contact, and then the whole world just shifts into place.

“This can’t be happening.”

“Have you every heard of opposites attract?”

“I’m going to kill you.”

“But- Okay, yeah, we’re doing this.”

Give me a brutal fight that ends with a “Since when do my attacks hurt this much?” and the villain slowly realising that they can’t kill themselves out of this situation, that they can’t escape this because they’re soul bonded to a kid with a hero complex who is constantly trying to thwart them and is now for some reason grinning at them like a lunatic because they supposedly belong together. And damn does suddenly being able to feel emotions and pain that wasn’t his sting, because he has enough shit to deal with on his own without the added pressure, thanks.

Give me snarky comments and miniature fights in the middle of the night when the hero catches the antagonist coming back from who knows where, bloody and in pain and maybe a little too bust up, to say they won the fight.

“You usually look happier to see me.”

“You killed someone this morning.”

“What gave it away?”

“You mean besides the fact that you’re covered in blood and I felt every moment of it?”

Give me the villain slowly getting used to the idea that hey, they’re sort of going to have to put up with this little ray of sunshine for a while even though he kind of hates his guts and wants to kill him, but also give me the villain wondering what they ever did to deserve this. What could they possibly have done that was so great, so obscenely terrifyingly amazing that they could be soul bonded to a person like this, someone so innocent and righteous and downright beautiful that half of it seems like a mad dream?

“Not every bad guy has a tragic past.”

“But you do. I’ve seen it.”

“I’m going to punch you.”

“That would be counterproductive to what we’re doing here.”

“…”

“That hurt you as much as it hurt me.”

“Worth it.”

Give me tempers flaring and bristling arguments and the hero getting so tired, but still carrying on, not because they think that there’s some good in the antagonist or because they think they can change them, but because this is their soulmate, the person that the fates chose for him, his other half, someone that he had to protect and look after and love, because if not him, then who else was going to?

“I am going to hurt you. I’m going to rip out your intestines and strangle you with them.”

“You’ve been pretty good today. That’s three less death threats than yesterday.”

“Prepare to have your balls removed with a butcher’s knife and shoved down your throat, asshole.”

“I’m still counting this as progress.”

Give me the antagonist not realising the reality that this isn’t someone who wants something from him, who wants to change him, use him, abuse him, but rather someone who just wants to be with him, love him. Give me an antagonist who can’t understand the concept that somebody might actually care.

“I thought this was what you wanted! The sex, the cuddling, the stupid hand-holding. What more could you want from me?”

“I don’t want anything from you.”

“Yes you do. They always do! Just tell me what you want and you can have it. Just leave me alone, please. I can’t take this anymore.”

“I want you to trust me, to believe me when I say that I love you.”

“You’re only saying that because of the bond.”

“No, I’m not. I’ve seen everything that you have, felt what you feel, heard what you’ve heard. Maybe at first, a little, it was just because of the bond, but then I fell in love with you, the real you, the one behind all the fronts that you put up.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I didn’t expect you too, but you will, one day. I’m not giving up on you.”

Give me the hero facing shit from their friends and family, because they don’t understand why they’re trying so hard and putting up with so much shit, even though he’s his soulmate, but the hero just shrugging and smiling because they get it, and it doesn’t matter if everyone else doesn’t.

“He threatens to brutally mutilate you constantly.”

“I like to believe it’s how he expresses his affections.”

“He tried to kill you so many times.”

“There was only the once after we found out about the bond, though.”

“You’re making excuses now.”

“It’s just that there’s so much anger in him, all of the time. I don’t know how anyone could live like that. I want to help him.”

“You’re going to get yourself killed.”

“That’s not my biggest concern anymore. He is.”

Give me a hero who tries so, so hard, and a villain who, despite everything, slowly gives in. Give me quiet nights laid in bed or watching the stars, no words and only their hands touching, just the sensation of palm against palm enough. Give me heated arguments, rage, unsteady headiness at the realisation that they’re not going to leave each other, no matter what happens.

Give me a soulmate AU where the hero doesn’t react badly, isn’t scared or hateful that their soulmate is their arch nemesis, the big bad guy, the villain they can never seem to get rid of, because really they should have expected that all along. Because no one hates that much without there being a little something more behind it.

anonymous asked:

Hello! I have a plan to get my main character injured by the antagonist. But, since the mc lives, is it better to describe the danger or get the mc injured so he (and the audience) would have no questions about the seriousness of the antagonist?

When to Injure Your MC

If you ask many writers why they beat their characters up so much, the immediate playful answer might be “Because it’s fun!” but there is (or should be) some strategy involved in when and how you injure your main character. So before I answer the question directly, I’m going to discuss these strategies a little.

Reasons to Injure a Character:

1. To create additional challenges in a high-stakes situation

If a character’s journey has been fairly easy to far, an injury is one way to complicate things. But the only way it works is if the injury lasts long enough to really hinder them. 

For instance, if you have a character that has the magical ability to heal others, then a character being injured and then healed two minutes later doesn’t create much of a challenge, nor does it heighten suspense since the character’s life was never truly in danger. So an injury that’s introduced to complicate things should take some time to recover from, and it’s usually more realistic anyway, especially when you consider the tortuous stuff we do to our MCs sometimes.

However, if you do have a healer character, and they’re currently separated from the character you injure, then a challenge is immediately presented. The injured character has to continue their journey through the injury, to either reach their destination or be reunited with the healer that can help them. 

2. To foreshadow a future situation

The situation I described above, where a character is injured and then healed two minutes later, could work, if it’s being used to foreshadow the second situation I described, where the two characters are separated. Showing the healer in action early in the story can foreshadow a later complication when the healer is unable to assist their companion, whether it’s due to a separation or a sudden loss of powers. 

It can also work as exposition to show the way the healer’s power works. 

3. To show the antagonist’s maliciousness 

The anon above suggested they injure their character to show the antagonist means business, and that definitely qualifies as a good reason to injure a character. 

See, when an antagonist hurts a character - and not just an MC, but anyone - they show that they don’t care who gets in their way. They want what they want, and in their opinion, the ends justifies the means. Even when a character isn’t necessarily in their way, and they do it for pleasure, it tells a reader a great deal about the antagonist’s psyche, and how far they’ll go to further their own agenda. 

My only caution here is to be wary of how often you’re using this reason. Often times it becomes easy to justify an antagonist’s plan by saying “They’re evil and they enjoy torturing people.” But villains who are evil just for the pure enjoyment of it grow uninteresting and predictable quickly. So despite the pleasure they get out of hurting people, they must have some greater scheme in front of them. Some ultimate gain that they’re hoping to achieve. A combination of these two things can breed a fascinating antagonist. 

4. To deepen a character bond or relationship

Injuries or illness are great opportunities to write a dynamic where one character is taking care of another, showing how close the two characters are, and how attentively they’ll care for the other. But this dynamic is most compelling when it’s a reversal, such as a little brother taking care of an older one, or when someone who the protagonist has built up to be invincible is suddenly sidelined and needs the protagonist’s help. 

Like the previous reason, i would just be careful how frequently this occurs. Situations like these are more effective when they’re big, and they last long term, rather than several smaller instances where a character keeps getting hurt and cared for. 

There may be other reasons out there to justify injuring a character that I haven’t thought of here, but I can surely tell you one reason not to:

Avoid injuring a character purely for the fun of it. 

Now listen, what you do in your own private writing universe is your own business, and if you want to put your characters through hell because it’s fun, I commend you for finding so much joy in the process of writing and I encourage you to keep at it. But when it comes to finding an audience, and telling a cohesive, well-paced, well-plotted story, you gotta start considering each move you make as a writer, and ask yourself if each plot point needs to be there. 

Back to the anon…

Now that I’ve gone into all this detail, let me get back to the specific question that the anon asked. Since the character ultimately lives, is it better to just show the possible danger, or to actually have the antagonist injure them to show they’re serious?

My answer to you would be that you could injure the character, since your reasoning falls within the reasons I listed here (reason #3), and it would be even better if it qualified for two reasons, such as delaying their progress to achieve their goal (reason #1) or repairing a strained relationship when a companion must take care of them (reason #4). 

Your argument that the character lives (so why bother?) ignores the need for conflict in a story. Readers appreciate conflict, as long as there are logical reasons for it, and if you consider these reasons I discussed, you should be in great shape. 

However, I think that you could show your antagonist’s malicious intentions without injuring the character, if you felt the injury would be too much for an already conflict-heavy plot. The antagonist might show anger/violence towards the people working for them (out of frustration), or even to innocent bystanders, or other minor characters whose fates we’re not as tied up in. So I think there are still options for you if you wanted to avoid an injury. 

-Rebekah

“Go on,” the antagonist rasped. Their eyes were intent upon the protagonist’s, their lips startlingly red with blood. Breath panting. “Finish it.”

The protagonist’s hand wavered, head spinning, adrenaline coursing nauseously through their body. 

Some distance away, their allies were starting to approach. 

The antagonist’s expression softened. “Finish it.” They reached up a hand to steady the protagonist on their weapon. “You’ll be a hero, everyone will love you, the world will be yours for the taking. You’ve come so far and grown so much, you’ve fought so hard. You can do it. It’s alright.”

“You want to die?”

“Don’t ask me that. I’d rather it be by your hand than theirs.”

  • Me, at the all purpose antagonist counter: Hey, so I need a typical minor villain to be my antagonist’s minion. Gruff, middle aged, cruel, ugly, probably smelly too. Just get me whatever villain-coded extra you've got a lot of.
  • The shop owner, immediately shoving a character at me: Here's your order of one young, beautiful, tortured soul in desperate need of love and a solid redemption arch, complete with puppy-dog eyes and nice hair. No refunds, no returns. Have fun.
Writing: The Villain

In most stories, there is a tangible villain that works at every opportunity to stop your hero from reaching their goal. They are oftentimes the epitome of evil and hatred, depending on how extremely their villainy runs. In many ways, they are almost as important as the main character, so here are some tips on developing them well.

  • Villains should be handled with the same deep thought as heroes.
    • Just because they’re the villain doesn’t mean they aren’t a very major character, and complex characters are always more favorable than simple, boring characters. Develop their appearance and personality in detail. Formulate a backstory. Understand the motivations behind what they do, and let their actions reflect their internal desires.
  • Find ways to make your villain stand out from other villains.
    • Most villains are maniacal. They are almost all willing to do terrible things in order to get what they want. A lot of villains are related to their character in some way, and sometimes this relationship is revealed in a plot twist. These are all well and good, but trying to make these ideas seem fresh and interesting is difficult nowadays. Play with your ideas and tweak these tropes, or maybe even disregard them all together. Do what you can to make your villain not sound like another Voldemort or Darth Vader. (Reading your work and/or having others read your work is a good way to see if your villain (and other characters, too) are interesting and unique enough.)
  • Consider that your villain is (probably) still human.
    • Even if they aren’t human in the technical sense, they probably still have human emotions. Give your character depth by exploring their sense of morality and where they came from. Why do they think what they’re doing is acceptable. Do they think it’s acceptable? What happened that lead them up to this point of villainy?
  • Explore your villain’s relationship with the other characters.
    • Are they closely connected with your hero and the hero’s friends? Are they in no way related? What did the good characters do to get on the villain’s bad side? How deep does your villain’s anger or hatred for your hero run? Do they hate them at all, or are they doing what they’re doing for another reason? Are the things that your villain is doing a direct result of the hero’s actions, or was there another cause?
  • Decide what the end result of the villain’s actions will be.
    • You have one of two very basic routes this can take: your villain can either defeat or be defeated by the hero. The hero also has one of two routes (if they defeat the villain): they can defeat them by force and kill/imprison/etc. them, or they can “convert” them to the good side. How will this decision affect your villain? How will it affect the overall story? How will it affect the other characters? What will the long-term effects be?
  • Their motivations must be believable.
    • Too often the villain comes off as cheesy or unsatisfying because there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for them to be acting against the main character. Their actions and motivations should be just as definitive and interesting as any other character’s. Try to avoid falling into the trap of “sworn revenge” for no good reason–or, even worse, copping out by saying the villain is “just crazy”.
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I love how some people seems to think Ephemera is secretly evil-succumb to darkness-related to Xehanort -type of character just because he have a silver hair lol. Can’t blame you, I thought the same when the first time seeing Ephemer, silver hair character are always look suspicious in every kingdom hearts xD

thank god he’s still a nice character (at least for now)