STORY IDEA: YOUR DOOR BELL RINGS AND ITS A PERSON FROM AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE “I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY FAVORITE BOOK CHARACTER AND I KNOW HOW IT ENDS AND I WANNA CHANGE IT”
WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO ME
WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH WAIT
HOW DOES MY BOOK END!?!?!?!?!?
WHY DOES IT NEED TO BE CHANGED!?!?!?!?!
"Who’s the author?"
"George R. R. Martin."
Arabian Little Red Riding Hood with a red hijab
A Japanese Snow White with her coveted pale skin and shiny black hair
Mexican Cinderella with colorful Mexican glass blown slippers
Greek Beauty and the Beast where Beast is a minotaur
Culture-bent fairy tales that keep key canonical characteristics
GIVE ME THESE I M M E D I A T E L Y
I AM SO TEMPTED TO DRAW THIS YOU HAVE NO IDEA
What are some words that you guys can’t stop using? Reblog with your own! (I want to learn more)
I regularly use ridiculous, complicated, many syllabled words, but one time in college I used the word ‘copious’ when I was drunk and I never lived that shit down.
"cosine" was what saved me during the fifth time around during a "words that start with the same letter " (in this case, c) round of king’s cup. I’m right there with ya.
If you ever feel bad about your love life, remember he is now dating Jennifer Lawrence. There is hope for us all.
And if you’re too comfortable with your love live, remember that he is in, fact, recently broken up with Jennifer Lawrence.
And if you’re too comfortable with your esoteric knowledge of pop culture, just remember that, apparently, they got back together and I don’t know what I’m talking about.
If you cannot read all your books…fondle them—-peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances.
continuing my lifelong quest to make friends with long-haired people just so i can give them crown braids
this dovetails nicely with my lifelong quest to make friends with people who like creating complicated braids just so I have someone to play with my hair
I need new friends like you.
Hi, I was wondering if you have any advice on writing a good villain? Like one that people hate to love/love to hate? Someone really twisted and horrible
Welcome to Villain Theory, You Will Be Here A While
I AM SO IMMEASURABLY GLAD YOU CAME HERE. If there is one thing in this universe that I have love for in whatever blackened shreds remain of my soul, it is a great villain. As evidenced by the size of this post, I have a lot of thoughts on the matter.
Everyone has a different idea of what makes a great villain, and there is no formula for making a villain that people hate to love or love to hate. Just a cursory look around Tumblr will show you that everyone has different taste in villains. Sometimes they are loved because of their physical attractiveness, other times their backstory is what makes them lovable/hatable. That is a largely subjective part of villainy that I do not think I can definitively cover.
So, rather than giving you my opinion on what makes a great villain, I intend to talk about antagonists and villains as concepts. I invite you to take from it what you will. I believe that making a villain and making a twisted villain involve different things, but I’ll get to that. (And I WILL get to that. I promise. I am just long-winded.)
Come with me. I will explain some things. You might even find them useful.
[Content warning: Spoilers. Lord of the Rings (Frodo and the Ring are spoken of), Finding Nemo (ish), Avatar: The Last Airbender (ish), Flowers for Algernon (COMPLETELY), Batman (The Joker is spoken of).]
Let’s Consider: Antagonism vs. Villainy
Let me go into semantics once again, so we can break this down even further. A villain is a character or thing that swears by bad or evil, and who is generally the opposite of the protagonist in goal and moral. An antagonist is someone or something who works against the protagonist to impede or halt their progress. A villain can absolutely be a protagonist, but an antagonist cannot. These terms are not always interchangeable and do not always overlap. Not every story needs both and some stories succeed with neither, but that is a post for a different day.
What makes a villain a villain is action. What makes an antagonist an antagonist is force against the protagonist. Again, these things can overlap, but do not always do so. I would like you to disregard the notion that villains and antagonists must be characters. They can be, but they do not always have to be.
Antagonism as a Force Against the Protagonist
Antagonists work against the protagonist, be it directly or indirectly, active or passive.
A direct antagonist works against the protagonist with full knowledge of the protagonist’s existence. This is probably what you think of when you think “antagonist:” someone who sees the hero coming and starts putting things in the hero’s way. Direct antagonists are more likely to be active than passive, as they do things like send henchmen, enact plans, fight the heroes, etc.
An indirect antagonist usually has their own goals that happen to coincide with the protagonist’s journey. Non-evil antagonists can easily fall into this category as a rival to the hero, providing tension without needing to be a “bad guy.” Indirect antagonists can easily be active or passive, since any activity they take part in does not have to include the hero. A passive antagonist has an effect on the plot without actually doing very much. Passive antagonists can (and are probably statistically more likely to) be objects as opposed to characters.
Consider Lord of the Rings. While yes, there is Sauron and Saruman and the Nazgul and such, hobbit Frodo’s personal antagonist is almost exclusively found in the One Ring. The Ring is a passive antagonist, which corrupts Frodo by simply existing in his possession. It attempts to corrupt him and prevent him from destroying it, thereby affecting his progress to the goal.
Antagonism as Conflict
The antagonist can be an agent of conflict, and depends on the protagonist in order to exist. Remember, antagonism is not (necessarily) villainy. Antagonism is only something that opposes the protagonist. A character can have conflicting morals and goals to your protagonist and qualify as a more-or-less good person while still being the antagonist to the story.
The antagonist serves to bring about negative progress in the protagonist’s journey to the goal, however they choose to do this. They can bring about conflict just by virtue of making the journey harder for the protagonist, just as well as they can by actively pestering, obstructing, and outright harming the protagonist. The link between conflict and antagonism is that the protagonist is navigating the maze of the plot through the conflict to reach the end goal, and the antagonist is either causing the conflict or adding new walls to the maze.
Villainy as a Reflection of the Hero
Let’s leave antagonism behind for a moment while we talk about villainy.
Villains are separate from antagonists in that not all antagonists are evil, and not all villains are antagonists. Villains oppose heroes in a number of ways, sometimes multiple ways in one story. They can stand in their way, send flocks of doom-legion troops after them, work to subvert them, ignore them while they carry out evil plots, any number of things make a villain villainous. What makes a great villain is largely up for debate, but let me start here.
A villain can be a reflection or shadow of whatever the hero stands for and loves. A villain who is good at their job might be this because they represent whatever the hero fears, loathes, or is scared of. A reflective villain is more than not-the-hero, a villain is the essence of not-the-hero.
Consider another plot in which the villain is not a physical thing, but a concept. Finding Nemo is a Pixar film about fish and fishbowls. Again, Finding Nemo has no personifiable villain, as even the sharks are friends (albeit unwanted ones). Marlin’s villain in finding his son is not the dentist who took him, the sharks, the birds, or any of that. Those are obstacles. Marlin’s real villain is the concept of bigness: His fear of everything has made him feel small (which, incidentally, he is), and he must take on the entire ocean to track down his son.
Villainy as Reverse Heroism
Then you have the less metaphorical and more literal interpretation of villainy in the reversal of heroism. After all, an interpretation of evil is that it is the diametrical opposite of good.
Consider Avatar: The Last Airbender. The villain at the end of the line is Fire Lord Ozai, is a destructive megalomaniac bent on domination and assuredly lacking in empathy from his first appearance onscreen. Meanwhile, hero Aang was raised a peaceful monk and throughout the series struggles to come to grips with the idea of having to kill someone, even if that someone is as ruthless and tyrannical as Ozai. The two of them are directly opposed in a multitude of ways: where Aang concerns himself with the nature of right and wrong and morality, Ozai views right and wrong as concepts that are beneath him as the world’s most powerful Firebender. Ozai is pride against Aang’s humility.
The reversal of heroism does not necessarily mean that the hero came first and that the villain built themselves around that, but that the hero and villain are truly opposing forces, opposite each other in a multitude of ways.
Villainy as Conflict
Villainy is a phenomenal method to bring about conflict. If a burning village isn’t inciting enough an incident, then what is? Remember, though, that not all villainy is evil in so many words.
Flowers for Algernon is a story about a man who undergoes surgery to boost his incredibly low intellect. Charlie and the original lab subject, a mouse named Algernon, become wildly intelligent as a result of the medical procedure, and all seems well until Algernon’s brainpower begins deteriorating. Charlie must come to terms with the fact that his newfound intellectual capacity is also short-lived, and as the story moves forward his mind also declines to the point of its origin. Charlie’s villain in his journey to genius is not physical but entirely mental; he will always know that he used to be intelligent. His villain is the idea of knowing, and once he knows, his struggle is no longer about the decline, but remaining at the bottom with little (if any) hope of return.
Conflict and villainy can easily coincide. Conflict is the basis of the story, the thing that drives the plot and spurs on the characters. Bear in mind, if your villain is a part of the conflict, I expect you to deal with the villain somehow before resolving the plot in its entirety.
Some Final Thoughts
Now let’s put them together. An antagonistic villain is something that brings about negative progress in the protagonist’s journey by way of villainy. From here, you can go in any number of directions. Are they trying to usurp the throne from an unsuspecting monarch by way of subterfuge and policy? Are they a conniving, manipulative type, working to some nebulous goal that the protagonists happen to stumble into? Are they an inexplicable force of chaos that enjoys villainy for the sake of villainy?
Not all antagonists and villains are driven by clearly defined goals and motives. The Joker throughout his illustrious history is shown to cause chaos solely for the sake of causing chaos. An interesting dynamic of the goalless villain is the mystery of how to gain the upper hand on them. How do you prevent a villain from reaching their goal if they do not have one?
Something to think about when your protagonist/hero begins locking horns with your antagonist/villain: At what point in the story do they gain the upper hand? Remember, plot is born of conflict, and there is no real conflict if the protagonist/hero has all the pieces of the antagonist’s/villain’s demise and chooses not to use them.
Defining the conditions of success or failure can also help you overcome plot blocks when you feel your protagonists/heroes have gotten stuck in a corner. What are the conditions of defeat? How about victory? Do they change at any point in the story? Do we always know what they are, or do learn them as the story goes on?
As to the other part of your question. What defines twisted, sick villainy more than anything is the limitations of your world, and therefore twisted villainy depends on what your genre is. This type of villain goes above and beyond what is already unacceptable in the world, which varies by genre and setting. Twisted for fantasy middle-grade fiction is going to look very different than twisted in R-rated sci-horror.
In order to create a villain who is perceived as twisted and disturbed, you will have to think far outside the box of “normal” villainy. Figure out what your world perceives as bad, then double it up. Make it worse. Go further and further outside the lines of what nauseates and and horrifies your world, and set your villain loose.
……..So, that wraps up that question, I think. Let us know if you have other questions.
The process of creating is related to the process of dreaming although when you are writing you’re doing it and when you’re dreaming, it’s doing you.
Robert Stone, as cited in A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves (with thanks to @riskywiver)
One of the best explanations I’ve ever heard about the creative process.
not just followers, everyone.
I’m here if any of you need to talk<3
The best part is, this post actually does something, it offers support, unlike one of those useless “reblog if you care” posts.
Exactly. Which is why I’ll reblog this one.
Unsure of how to confess your love to someone? Try this:
- Acquire several dozen limes.
- Go up to them and then drop all the limes.
- Start picking them up, but keep dropping them. The clumsier you look the better.
- Keep doing this until you have their attention (this could take up to thirty minutes).
- Finally gather up the limes. Try looking a bit sheepish.
- Look them deeply in the eyes and say, “Sorry. I’m bad at Pickup Limes.”
- Marry them.
u may have killed my favorite character but u will never kill my spirit. or my love for them. or my ability to talk about them for an irritatingly long amount of time