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Writer's Block:
Informed Evil?
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Informed Evil?:

Without belaboring the point, I sometimes have the problem of making a character evil, but then never really showing it because they end up too affable for one reason or another.

One big offender is this Chaotic Evil Ax-Crazy ninja that so far I have justified her capability to 'behave' because she loves the hero and so doesn't do anything bad when he's around.

And then sometimes I have her do something almost seemingly random just to remind the story that she is evil. Like putting on her best Slasher Smile and describing what 'would' have happened to someone she was interrogating if the person was a liar (in this case, 'make the walls weep with her blood.')

So...how do I avoid both making evil an informed attribute, yet avoiding random acts of villainy, while at the same time making the character sympathetic and even enjoyable? She's not a monster, she has standards, she's just very sadistic and can't always be trusted in a battle situation.
 
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Simple - give her self-control issues, let her go too far when trying to do her job or help someone else out. She tries to be a good girl, really she does, but sometimes she... slips, or forgets, and suddenly there's a whole lot of viscera that need scraping off the ceiling.

You do need her to actually go over the edge occasionally, otherwise she just come across as all bark and no bite, but that's a good, internally-consistent way to do it.

edited 17th Oct '10 12:51:37 AM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
Hmm, good idea. I think I actually did something like that with her once. One of the valued friends of the hero accidentally burned her, and in response she became enraged, and would have seriously injured or even killed the person had she not been restrained. She did regret it, if only because she knew that it was the hero's friend.
 
 4 doorhandle, Sun, 17th Oct '10 1:15:35 AM from Space Australia!
Consider an occasional heroic sociopath moment as well.

"So you killed him with his APPENDIX?!!"

"Hey! It was self defense! Besides, he was trying to kill you too!"

"b-but...with his APPENDIX! His own freaking APPENDIX!"

"Look, I didn't have my sword on me okay?!!"

"IT WAS IN IT'S SHEATH IT'S ENTIRE TIME!"

"S-shut up!"

"How do you even do that? I mean, seriously what the f-..."

"Shutupshutupshutup!"

edited 17th Oct '10 4:24:17 AM by doorhandle

Also known as Katz
"Something bad almost happened" may not be good enough. Depends on how well you pull it off, but if she always gets stopped in time, it may feel more like a cute running gag than real near-psychopathy. After all, until she actually does something, we don't know if she would actually do something.

Well, one way to do it without necessarily stepping on the toes of the forces of light is to at least once show that she has done horrible things to villains that she's gotten her hands on, or show her actually doing it.

edited 17th Oct '10 2:01:24 AM by HaseoNatsume

 
 7 Foton, Sun, 17th Oct '10 4:10:46 AM from The Desert
Criminally Ferrety
Ever played Way of The Samurai 2? Kyojiro comes to mind reading your description.

Yeah, what the other posters said. Probably have him wake up in the morning with her beside him and a disembodied, bloody lump of flesh. Said her, "I made sure I selected only the best one. This one's for you <3"

How's that?
"Who needs a Wave Motion Gun if you can teleport your enemy onto one?"
PI
Would be kind of a fun twist (if you want your story to take a dark turn) if after establishing the "evil" as a cute running gag, something that happens in threats and could-have-beens, she actually does something really astonishingly evil and the readers and the characters have a total "wtf she's actually evil?" moment. Also, as soon as she actually goes through with one of them, you realize she would have gone through with the rest if she had gotten the chance.

Excellent idea.
 
Another example you might get inspiration from is Richard. In his case, they show his villainy through his actions towards enemy Mooks and random bystanders, as well as by him regularly wanting to do various things and Cale restrains him. And by him immediately volunteering for any I Did What I Had to Do moments, with no sign of moral conflict about it.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Um... no. Richard is a very bad choice. Sohmer has an extremely poor grasp of how to properly balance silliness and seriousness, and Richard generally seems to be in a completely different comic to everyone else in the strip.

In fact, I'd chalk him up as a good example of how not to create the effect the OP's apparently looking for.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
Well technically, this is a general issue and I was just citing one of my characters as an example.

The general issue of being, how do I make a character convincingly evil, yet someone a good person would realistically want to be friends with?
 
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Which, conveniently, is another thing that Richard is a perfect What Not To Do guide for. See the above comments about him and the rest of the cast apparently occupying separate comics.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
PI
... "someone you'd want to be friends with" =/= "a good character."

Likable people and likable characters are entirely different things.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Ecept that the objective in this particular story is for her to get along well with the protagonists. Most of the time. When she's not doing something hideously vile.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
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Total posts: 15
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