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Tutorial Writers' Wretreat or Crytics' Crypt? (love needed)

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by spawning of Bob, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Ripperdactil

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    New topik.

    How do you counter Writer's Block?

    Personally, i like to divide a short story, or a chapter of an on going saga, into sections. If said sections are incredibly comprehensive, i like to divide the comprehensive sections into smaller sub-sections, and finish one of them a day.

    Also music.
     
  2. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    You figure it out. Let me know. I've tried everything.

    I like Derek and Brandon Flechter's music compilations. Also you click on one of his themed lists Youtube will show you similar thngs from other artists. I've been listening to a lot of Wild West themed music lately.
     
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  3. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Ripperdactil

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Alrighty, kewl.

    I normally try to to listen to music that houses the same tone i'm trying to create, and then try to translate it into writing.

    nothing
    in
    particular

    Also, i have the the same first name as that last guy o.0


    Hmm. I tried reading other peoples' stuff for indirect inspiration (being inspired from other peoples' work, but creating something entirely different).

    Also, as of now at least, I don't fully plan everything in a story, but rather create one-two liner summaries for each chapter (or part of a story if it's a short story). It allows me to know what to do next, while at the same time, not wither away my interest in writing it. If everything's too much planned, i find that it saps away creative juices, and inspiration once you finally reach that plot point or whatever that has been carefully planned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  4. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    New Discussion Topic: Compelling villains

    I tend to watch action movies, especially Superhero movies. Generally speaking what sets a good action movie from a bad one is whether there is a compelling villain or a boring villain.

    There is an expression "Every villain is the hero of it's own story."

    I'm going to get some caveats out of the way.

    First I don't believe that literally every villain should think of himself or herself as a hero. This is a guideline, not a rule. It is possible to have a good story with a villain that sees himself as a villain or doesn't care.

    Second, you can have a good story without any villains at all.

    Third, most short stories don't have enough space to fully characterize a hero and a villain unless the whole point of the story is to mirror them against each other.



    So one thing I have thought was that it's harder to make a villain who think he or she is a hero in Warhammer.

    -Orcs and Goblins are nearly always portrayed as murdering and vandalizing things for fun.
    -Ogres may be trying to feed their families but cannibalism is one of the scariest things and deepest taboos in human culture. "We're just hungry" only goes so far.
    -The Chaos gods have an "Evil is Good" religion.
    -Dark Elves glorify torture and pain

    I could go on, but I think Warhammer (both classic and Age of Sigmar) gives us less to work with for villain motivations than most.

    Then I thought back to iconic fantasy stories. The Lord of the Rings is probably the most influential fantasy epic of all time. Sauron is not especially nuanced and he probably doesn't think he is the hero in his own mind.

    The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe is also pretty iconic. I don't think the witch there has any real nuance.

    Maybe fantasy works best with archetypal villains that really are pure evil. Then again, one could easily make a case that Gollum/Smeogal certainly sees himself as the hero in his own mind. In his very childish mind, he is a victim of bullies and doesn't deserve any of the hard knocks he gets.

    Anyway, I can spew 10+ pages on what makes a good villain. Mainly gushing about my favorite and least favorite literary and movie villains, but I want to read what other people have to say.

    Does "every villain is the hero of his own story" apply to fantasy in general or Warhammer specifically?


    EDIT: I am going to cover one thing that I think Warhammer (Age of Sigmar or original recipe) lends itself to well.

    One of the exceptions to the rule where one dimensional villains works out well occasionally is when the protagonists are dark antiheroes.

    If the protagonists act like villains sometimes, one good way to keep the narrative going is to make the villains REALLY evil. Like nauseatingly evil. This is done with Spawn, Game of Thrones, the new live action Titans Show, Glorious Bastards, among many others. Marvel dips their toe in the water here with some of Wolverine's nemeses.
     
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  5. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Ripperdactil

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    That can apply for warhammer for sure (infact i do like those type villains more), but a villain doesn't have to be that at all. Honestly, in my opinion, memorable villains need to be very motivated in their causes whether they be heroic or not. Let's contrast and compare orgres and dark elves as an example.

    Ogres are purely motivated by a nihilistic shtick that only the strong should have everything their environments provide them with, and the weak should have absolutely nothing/ serve as food for the strong. This belief intensified/originated (not actually sure) when a huge mahrlect off comet crashed down onto their homelands, killing 2/3rds of their population right away, and destroying their natural habitat which left them with no food and a barren waste land to live off of. This immediately caused the Ogres to come down into complete cannibalistic anarchy right away, and formed the basis of their nihilistic psyche.

    Dark elves have pretty much the same villainous psyche (very nihilistic, only the strong should thrive, etc), BUT, they're not as motivated, or rather, there's not as much motivation for such nihilistic beliefs. There's no reason for them to be pirating, enslaving, etc, except for the fact that they perceive themselves as superior to everything else and fit to rule the world.

    In my opinion, this is hardly enough to justify their psyche.

    So yeah, i think this is a problem also for a lot of the other warhammer factions as well too (skaven, orcs, etc). There needs to be more personal motivations for their causes, but i'm not an expert on warhammer lore, so idk
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  6. King Dust
    Skink

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    I also really like the archetype of the indifferent villain. So confident in their power that any efforts to oppose them are boring. Their motivation can be mundane even. "This planet needs to be destroyed for the cosmic bypass" or the like.

    Which doesn't really make them the hero of their own story. And to be fair this might be more prevalent in sci-fi than fantasy. But really it works whenever you have two cultures sufficiently foreign from each other.
     
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  7. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Ripperdactil

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    I like that a lot too.

    like for an example, a story could be based around a mortal protagonist facing off against super over powered chaos villeins whom wouldn't care whether or not said protagonist dies off.

    This can also work for a certain trope where the villain is the greater evil or the hidden evil.
     
  8. Scalenex
    OldBlood

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I'm trying to develop some Dark Elf characters to be at least somewhat. I guess I am focusing on the Dark Elf noble houses struggling against each other and glossing over the slavery part. I guess I'm inspired by Game of Thrones. John Snow and Ramsey Bolton really suffered from being bastard sons, but they were infinitely better off than pretty much all peasants who practically live on a different planet than the nobility.

    That being said my Dark Elf point of view characters are less nasty than the average Dark Elf.

    I guess I tried to do that with Lord Neekit of Clan Ostrel, but he was not an especially well regarded or well-liked character compared to my others.

    That's the Slann and/or the Old Ones in a nutshell!
     
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  9. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Ripperdactil

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Also one small note: If said taboo or despicable action helps you survive, you would most likely do it just for survival. It's just human/animalistic instincts.

    In the siege of Leningrad for an example, one of the most deadliest sieges in human history, many people reluctantly did cannibalism just to survive, since there was no other way to find food.
     

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