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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    Just because you can understand an opposing opinion doesn't mean you agree with it. When we, as an audience, can understand why a character does the things s/he does, and we understand what they want, and why they want it, and what they're willing to do to get it -- that's when that becomes a powerful character.
    Yes. It's why "Downfall" is generally considered a depressing movie even though it's about one of the greatest triumphs of good over evil in human history.


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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    A good villain isn't a villain - in his own mind. A great villain sees himself as the hero of his own story.

    We don't discuss politics here, so I'm venturing into dangerous territory even mentioning these names, so let's keep the discussion about characters and not pilitics, but -- here are two perfect examples: George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Both see themselves as the hero of their story, and there are plenty of people who believe that these men were/are great presidents, and there are plenty of people who see both of these men as terrible presidents who are destroying the country. Which is it? That's the point -- in storytelling it doesn't really matter which viewpoint is "correct"... for the purposes of your storytelling, you just have to pick a side and a viewpoint, and the person on the opposite viewpoint is your antagonist. Don't think of them as a "villain", because they certainly don't think of themselves as villains! Think of them as an antagonist. Opposite viewpoint, opposite goals. There were people fighting to the death to keep Khadaffi in power in Libya. Do you think Obama Bin Laden saw himself as an evil villain? Or can you see how, in his "holy war" he thought he was doing the right thing?

    If you can't see your antagonist's perspective then yeah, you'll never be able to write a powerful story because you'll never have a powerful antagonist. Just because you can understand an opposing opinion doesn't mean you agree with it.
    When we, as an audience, can understand why a character does the things s/he does, and we understand what they want, and why they want it, and what they're willing to do to get it -- that's when that becomes a powerful character.

    Watch The Godfather I & II again. There, the "hero" in the story is a mobster, a guy who does awful things, but for reasons and values he considers right -- family, loyalty, honor, etc. And that's the "hero", not the villain!
    Thanks. Those are great tips. That's exactly what I meant when I said a 3d villain. James Bond villains, or the villains (antagonist) of most Scy Fy movies of the week, are usually very 2D. They have a goal, and the goal is bad, like steal all the gold, take over the world, etc. That's about as far as it goes. For the right story, 2d stereotypical villains can work just fine. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a great example. It's a fun roller coaster ride of a movie, but the villains are just evil Nazis and that's about it.

    Darth Vader is a great 3d villain. He's torn about his service to the Emperor, and the evil things he did were done in his mind to save people he loved.

    And of course the Joker in The Dark Knight is a terrific multi layered villain. He's not doing terrible things because he wants money, or power, but just because terrible things need to be done. he's totally willing to put his own life on the line and suffer the same tortures he inflicts on everyone else.


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