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October 18th, 2001, 06:29 AM
Well, I had originally intended to respond to Bardos question about bad characters winning in the other thread, but I thought perhaps this was an issue that could better be discussed in itís own thread.

villain = Evil ? Iím not so sure. If you look at our own history, why do we associate certain historic figures as being bad or in some cases evil? Or for that matter why do we consider some historic figures as being good or noble? Good and bad are never as simple as we would like to believe. Itís not the good righteous people vs. the evil want to destroy the world people. In fiction, villains are those characters that readers love to hate, not necessarily characters who are hell bent on destroying the world.

In answer to the original question, yes, all the time. I have several villains who are not evil people, although some of their morals might be in question. Mostly though they just happen to be in opposition to my main characters. Each side wins a few battles. I even have some main characters who are less than righteous (I'd consider them bad people) and since they are my main character they come out on top.

October 18th, 2001, 12:03 PM
Evil, being a relative term depending on one's point of view, always wins according to one side of the equation. I'll wager that is not what you meant to ask, rather that an unmistakably evil characterization tends to lose out in most stories. Well, allowing evil to triumph periodically might be new and refreshing to some, but hardly inspirational to readers seeking escape from the real evils around us. I'd rather we quash it in our imaginations via stories rather than see it spread victorious.

October 18th, 2001, 02:35 PM
But it's rather foolish for the villain(s) of a story always to lose, don't you think?

October 18th, 2001, 05:36 PM
But it's rather foolish for the villain(s) of a story always to lose, don't you think?

I agree 100%, Bardos - villians who are defeated way too easily are a let down, IMO. Sure, the formula is that good has to prevail, but who says that good is not evil? It's all a matter of perception. But, if you have your villian defeated just in the nick of time, it will be popular with the masses who are cheering on the goodies, but for mine, I like to see the good guys not always get their way, and show up some of their own failings as well!

After all, it happens in life, why not in fiction?

October 19th, 2001, 01:16 AM
Yes, I found Tyrion (Song of Ice& Fire series for those poor people who haven't read it,)to be a splendid example of a "baddie" that turned into the most interesting character in the book(s) He even seemed heroic in his own uniquely twisted way after awhile. We haven't gotten the "last" book in the series, supposedly #4, so we don't know if the "evil Tyrion" will even live, much less win.
I think the "evil dwarf" effect came from the incredible humor and irony in Tyrion's dialogue. I'm wondering if there's not other similar "tricks" to creating multi-faceted bad guys...ones that Humble Little Me could use. My most recent bad guy is too mentally twisted, so much that I don't know why he's crazy.

October 19th, 2001, 06:09 AM
Hey KATS, take a look at a similar thread on the Fantasy discussion forum. I went into a bit of detail over why we cannot use labels like "good and evil" so frivolously. I think you might be interested in some of the comments.