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LOG
12-12-2009, 09:41 PM
Do you ever find yourself empathizing more with the antagonist than the protagonist?
It happens to me pretty often. I just finished reading a story where in the final battle I was actually cheering on the antagonist. The protagonist is funny, that's a good point of his. But in the end, he is just a sarcasitc, childish, ass, and he knows it. The antagonist had a deeper character, and although his actions are despicable, I enjoy scenes involving him more than anyone else in the book.

Jess Haines
12-12-2009, 11:44 PM
I get this more in movies than books, but it does happen.

One of my favorite "guilty pleasures" is to reread VILLAINS: VICTORIOUS now and again...

thothguard51
12-12-2009, 11:54 PM
My beta readers say that in my current WIP the antagonist are having all the fun...

entropic island
12-13-2009, 12:54 AM
The real question is:

When do I ever prefer the protagonist to the antagonist?

gothicangel
12-13-2009, 01:54 AM
Do you ever find yourself empathizing more with the antagonist than the protagonist?
It happens to me pretty often. I just finished reading a story where in the final battle I was actually cheering on the antagonist. The protagonist is funny, that's a good point of his. But in the end, he is just a sarcasitc, childish, ass, and he knows it. The antagonist had a deeper character, and although his actions are despicable, I enjoy scenes involving him more than anyone else in the book.

Sounds like a well written story. I like an antagonist I can sympathise with. I really hate the 'he's a psycopath' motivation.

I really love my antagonist, and I'll be heartbroken when I finish this book.

LOG
12-13-2009, 09:30 AM
Sounds like a well written story. I like an antagonist I can sympathise with. I really hate the 'he's a psycopath' motivation.

I really love my antagonist, and I'll be heartbroken when I finish this book.
You could always raise him from the dead >.>

blacbird
12-13-2009, 10:33 AM
Nearly always.

caw

Anarchic Q
12-13-2009, 11:42 AM
I wouldn't say I empathize with the antagonist, but they're almost always the most bad-ass character in the story, at least in my eyes. If the writer happens to make the character sympathetic, that's a bonus.

I find villains way more fun to write.

Slushie
12-13-2009, 11:44 AM
Yep. Often enough.

Sometimes the protagonists are just too shiny and perfect to live, yet they do. Then the real entertainment of the story--the antagonist--is relegated to the grave because standard plot structre requires it.

btw, LOG: 'The land of lakes and cold?' That sounds like Minnesota, where I live.

Kaiser-Kun
12-13-2009, 11:47 AM
I love my antagonist. Since he's from a different species, he doesn't feels any emotions, and instigates war and tension simply because, after decades living on the humans' planet, he learns that this is the best way to weaken them. That's why he was born, his nature. And he's doing it so his almost-extinct race can survive feeding on the planet. It's a reason as good as any for fighting.

Also, I love that he knows everything that's going on, while the main characters have to struggle for tiny bits of information.

kaitie
12-13-2009, 06:07 PM
Do you ever find yourself empathizing more with the antagonist than the protagonist?
It happens to me pretty often. I just finished reading a story where in the final battle I was actually cheering on the antagonist. The protagonist is funny, that's a good point of his. But in the end, he is just a sarcasitc, childish, ass, and he knows it. The antagonist had a deeper character, and although his actions are despicable, I enjoy scenes involving him more than anyone else in the book.

Okay, maybe I should go rewrite my MC lol. ;)

Honestly though...in a book...not lately that I can think of. I've come across a few manga that had fantastic villains, though, and I've had some movie or television villains that I just adore. Uh...obviously. (though not more than the Doctor! there were just a lot of Doctors on the board already and I wanted to be original. :tongue)

LOG
12-13-2009, 07:40 PM
btw, LOG: 'The land of lakes and cold?' That sounds like Minnesota, where I live.
I will confirm or deny nothing...
>.>
<.<
:P

Saskatoonistan
12-13-2009, 09:20 PM
I've always preferred Professor Chaos...

http://www.garmentdistrict.com/store/popculture/southpark/magnets/southj.jpg

ishtar'sgate
12-14-2009, 03:40 AM
Do you ever find yourself empathizing more with the antagonist than the protagonist?

It must be the books I read but no, I never have. Usually there's much more to empathize with in the protagonist although sometimes I don't like anyone in the story and don't even finish it.

kuwisdelu
12-14-2009, 04:16 AM
I make it simple for you and protagonize the antagonist.

thothguard51
12-14-2009, 04:32 AM
Your protagonist is only as strong a character as is your antagonist.

Liosse de Velishaf
12-14-2009, 04:40 AM
Well, for a lot of my fantasy, it's big cast where there's just -agonists, so you can't really talk in terms of good guys and bad guys, or even "the writer wants you to root for him" guys. Most of my other fantasy is chimneypunk (dark, urban, secondary world mythic fiction), so while there might be only one perspective, you can't really say if it's a good one or not.


Well, in my work in general there's not a clear ant/pro line.


For what I read, it's a case-by-case. If the writer gives me a reason to prefer one character or set of characters, I will. Keep in mind that their status in the eyes of the author is irrelevant to me. I base my opinion on actions. If I feel they're too good to live or a failed anit-hero, then I don't like protags. If I feel they're too evil to live, or failed misnderstood-villains, then I don't like the antags.

Lady Ice
12-14-2009, 10:35 PM
I like some antagonists

Mad Queen
12-15-2009, 12:49 AM
I think the problem with most protagonists is that they are passive. When the story starts, the protagonist is living an idyllic life in his ranch, taking care of the sheep. Meanwhile, the antagonist is plotting to take over the world. He has a plan, a goal. He's an entrepreneur. The protagonist only reacts to his threats. And have you also noticed that the antagonist usually has much more fun than the protagonist? Maybe we should try to create a different kind of protagonist or simply tell the story from the villain's point of view.

Sai
12-15-2009, 06:15 AM
Often: I've always been more of a Hotspur than a Prince Hal kind of girl.

half.jaded
12-15-2009, 03:43 PM
The real question is:

When do I ever prefer the protagonist to the antagonist?

Lol. Agree.

Protagonists are boring. Unless of course it's a villain protagonist. In that case, the protagonist is fun, fun, fun. xD

sohalt
12-15-2009, 03:52 PM
This is why I love me some moral ambiguity. Once you stop thinking in black and white, you can forget about antagonists and protagonists - you just have people with conflicting interests.

The Lonely One
12-15-2009, 06:24 PM
I like what sohalt said. That seems like a more effective way of crafting characters. Black and White is, honestly, cartoony, because it neglects the intricacies of us human types.

I often like the antagonists, but I have to like the protagonist by the end or I feel like the author did something horribly wrong. I'd think, why didn't the writer write about the antagonist to begin with? Then it seems to be some kind of moral crusade--"I follow the good guy, no matter how boring. He goes to church on sundays and files his taxes early." I'm not interested in the author's moral opinion on who is worth following. Show me someone interesting.

LOG
12-15-2009, 07:47 PM
It's a false impression that protagonists are 'white' and atagonists are 'black.'
The protagonist is simply the one who must overcome a great obstacle, and is observed the most often in the story. While the antagonist is opposed to the protagonist, either directly or indirectly.
At least, that's how I think of it.

sohalt
12-15-2009, 10:38 PM
The protagonist is simply the one who must overcome a great obstacle, and is observed the most often in the story. While the antagonist is opposed to the protagonist, either directly or indirectly.

Yes, that's another way to solve the problem - just rid the words of the moral connotations.

You are right, it really boils down to "observed most often" (about the obstacles, I'm not so sure, because the antagonists has to overcome obstacles too, the protagonist for example.)

LOG
12-16-2009, 01:06 PM
Protagonist: the central character of a literary work
Antagonist: that which opposes the protagonist

That what you had in mind?

Misa Buckley
12-16-2009, 01:19 PM
Works for me :)

But the Dark Side has cookies......

LOG
12-17-2009, 06:08 AM
The Light side has cupcakes, you must choose!

SPMiller
12-17-2009, 06:33 AM
How often do you prefer the antagonist?Every night.

Shadow_Ferret
12-17-2009, 06:38 AM
Do you ever find yourself empathizing more with the antagonist than the protagonist?


Never. I was a Boy Scout. I always root for good.

xcomplex
12-17-2009, 06:58 AM
Go antagonists! But then again it depends. My MC was the antagonist and I rewrote the story with him being the protagonist, he isn't exactly bad but he is used as a killer and has a complicated past etc. I like it that way! The dark guy always appeals to me :D

Kalyke
12-17-2009, 10:22 AM
I usually write my antagonist with something so outright wrong about their characters, that it is difficult to like them. They could be nice, good looking, smart, sucessful, but they always have the posioned worm eating through their brains. A lot of times they are actually smarter and more sucessful than my protags who are usually "everymen" sorts.

LOG
12-18-2009, 12:25 AM
I usually write my antagonist with something so outright wrong about their characters, that it is difficult to like them. They could be nice, good looking, smart, sucessful, but they always have the posioned worm eating through their brains. A lot of times they are actually smarter and more sucessful than my protags who are usually "everymen" sorts.
If they had a poisoned worm eating their brain I'd feel pretty sympathetic...

MGraybosch
12-19-2009, 08:00 AM
When reading the "Thomas Covenant" books, I started rooting for Lord Foul pretty quickly despite having a name straight out of Saturday-morning kidvid (It wasn't his fault, after all).