How do you generally analyze the enemies and allies in your stories?
I ususally have allies that all have one unique quality, such as Genjo in my current story can move very silently and quickly. I also tend to have each of them battleing their own conflict. Such as you can be reading minor details on a character but by the end of the story you will discover their true conflict and resolution.
My enemies are much the same.
Darkclaw in my stories has the very unique quality of immortality that eventually will require all of the unique qualities of my allies to break.
Also the minor enemies all have a weakness that only certain characters can handle, such as the Jeckel ( demon with decaying skin and horns on head and back).
So how would you analyze your allies and enemies?
March 9th, 2005, 08:39 PM
This is something I am currently working on in my current project. My conflict is a three sided one, and I don't think any of them would be considered evil, so much as opposing forces. The first two are human forces (A and B for now). A is on the assault and have more forces, but B's defenses are pretty solid, so the war is a slow burn. The third side is comprised of the Watchers, small in number but incredibly powerful. They are also volitile. It is not sure which side they would fight on (they might fight both) so A and B both try to stay out of the Watchers way while at the same time trying to implicate the other as the Watcher's enemy.
In general, I think its important for evil (o antagonists) to overmatch good (protagonists). Otherwise, the tension drains away. Both sides should have weaknesses, but at the same time, those weaknesses cannot be so glaring that the reader is left wondering "Why don't they just exploit that and win already!"
March 9th, 2005, 08:42 PM
My villians don't see themselves as villians. Like the heroes, they see themselves doing what's necessary.
More conflict that way.
March 9th, 2005, 10:02 PM
My bad guys are bad and my good guys are good. But the means that they use to acheive their ends make you question their ethnics. For example, Irina is a bit short-sighted; she's planing to remove the child's soul and use the body. Alastor joins Maeve's force because Maeve reminds him of his wife. He's blinded by love.
I'm still new at writing so...
March 9th, 2005, 11:18 PM
Depends what genre I'm writing. When I'm writing horror, there's usually the standard villain and protagonist. The protagonist's motives are rarely anything more than simply survival, however, so sometimes the main character is good, and other times... not so good.
When I'm writing fantasy, there's usually a good side, a bad side, and a side whose motivations are never really clear, even once the story has ended.
In my current project (The Saelieni), however, there's no real clarity as to who is good and who is evil. The protagonists get attacked by different people/entities/monsters but none of these could truly be considered evil. Everyone is just doing what has to be done.
March 10th, 2005, 12:42 PM
I dress my allies in all white, well... you know, except for the streaks on their undies.
Other than clothing ;) , I usually define the two by the extent that they are willing to harm/allow harm to others to get what they want. But not always.
March 10th, 2005, 01:41 PM
Hmm, my enemies are my allies, actually, a lot of the time, depending on what point it is in the plot. Some of those enemies may see themselves as heroes, some may not, but they all have their own interests.
One point -- while I agree that making the enemies fairly powerful can be helpful, if you make them too powerful, you may find yourself coming up with a weak, illogical way of incapcitating them so the heroes can win. You see this a lot on television, film -- there's no way we can win -- oh, turns out water dissolves them!
March 10th, 2005, 01:57 PM
Occasionally my allies hate each other more than their mutual enemy.
Occasionally, there are no "enemies", just oponents who'd rather be friends but can't.
It's almost never a clear cut division in my writing.
March 10th, 2005, 02:29 PM
In some of my stories, the hero's allies can be more dangerous to him than his enemies and vice versa. Whilst the latter may be dangerous, they are often just sword bait. One of your own though whom you have to watch your back, well that is a lot more tricky.
That is doublely or triplely so if the friend is one of my nchantress/sorceresses. Not once do such personages use their magic but like Irish monks, nuns and druids, they can also be niftly with the unarmed conflict. I also make the point without going into details that they are highly dangerous so minor characters back off rather than mess with them. Heroes though are much less wise.
March 10th, 2005, 05:10 PM
I like it when an allie's true intention is totally different than what you have been led to believe.
I really love it when the opposing force is the bad guy but believes he is doing the good side of the deal.