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Old 04-14-2010, 01:25 AM   #1
ChipC
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Default Great bad guys - boring good guys

Okay, I'm seeing a trend with my writing: intriguing bad guys and average-to-boring good guys.

Anyone else deal with this? Tips to break the trend??
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: great bad guys - boring good guys

If the story is working why not just make the bad guy the protagonist?
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: great bad guys - boring good guys

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If the story is working why not just make the bad guy the protagonist?
Well played.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: great bad guys - boring good guys

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Okay, I'm seeing a trend with my writing: intriguing bad guys and average-to-boring good guys.
Think longer and harder about your hero's flaw and what he/she is struggling with *before* the bad guy shows up.

Remember - your hero can't just be sitting around waiting for the plot to happen. The plot must disrupt the hero's life, and if we don't see any significant struggle before that disruption, it will appear as though your hero is simply a boring person struggling with the plot.

Just a hunch.

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Old 04-14-2010, 03:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: great bad guys - boring good guys

Quote:
my writing: intriguing bad guys and average-to-boring good guys.
I think villains are often more interesting than "noble" good guys. I referred to this idea in a comment about Armored:

"...an uncomfortable imbalance with strong and flamboyant villians (as good villians usually are)--Dillon, Fishburne--and earnest but dull hero (Nolasco). It muddled the issue of who to root for: colorful, even likable villians, or serious, boring hero."
http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...817#post610817

In the old days, heroes tended to be noble...and a little boring. Think Gary Cooper in High Noon (actually, Gary Cooper in anything...). Recently, Denzel in Book of Eli.

Anti-heroes changed the formula (DeNiro in Taxi Driver; Eastwood as Dirty Harry and in spaghetti westerns; Gibson as Mad Max, and in Payback; Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces; Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon; Brando in Streetcar; the list goes on).

Villains can be more interesting because they do all the taboo stuff, often with great flair. The trick is probably to infuse the "hero" with some juicy neuroses and character flaws of his own and/or make sure his character arc is meaningful and difficult.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Great bad guys - boring good guys

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Originally Posted by ChipC View Post
Okay, I'm seeing a trend with my writing: intriguing bad guys and average-to-boring good guys.

Anyone else deal with this? Tips to break the trend??
Common mistake.
Most writers love their hero too much.

They are the "good" guy. An example for everyone.

Find their weakness and exploit it.
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: great bad guys - boring good guys

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Originally Posted by TwoBrad Bradley View Post
If the story is working why not just make the bad guy the protagonist?
Now that's an interesting thought!
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: great bad guys - boring good guys

Make the hero a moron.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Great bad guys - boring good guys

Give your good guy a backstory that intrudes into the present story.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:30 PM   #10
Mark Somers
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Default Re: Great bad guys - boring good guys

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Okay, I'm seeing a trend with my writing: intriguing bad guys and average-to-boring good guys.

Anyone else deal with this? Tips to break the trend??
Great question, Chip, I'm dealing with this very problem on a script of my own. It's gotten to the point that I can't stand my lead character/protag. He 'as got to go.


I like Bio's answer.

Last edited by Mark Somers : 04-14-2010 at 09:41 PM.
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