July 18, 2018, 07:43:30 AM

Author Topic: The Enemy's POV?  (Read 581 times)

Offline ctrandall

Re: The Enemy's POV?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2018, 12:46:33 AM »
That is a perfect opportunity to give the reader a close look at the bad guy. You do have to be careful but that's the kimd of thing that makes a great character, good or bad. I really enjoy reading that kimd of thing.

Offline night_wrtr

Re: The Enemy's POV?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2018, 03:12:29 AM »
I love the enemy POV. Human, inhuman, evil or misunderstood I dont care. My favorite parts of the WoT series were the glimpses we got of the Forsaken. In ASoF who doesn't enjoy the compare and contrast between the Stark and Lannister households? Gokta? Kitiara? The list goes on and on

If your narrative calls for it, you'll know instinctively. I think the bottom line is:

If it's interesting, it's interesting

Glokta’s chapters are incredible. A good example of villains done right.

Offline Toby Frost

Re: The Enemy's POV?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2018, 01:50:12 PM »
I think it depends a lot on the story. Generally speaking, the more human and rounded the villain is, the more interesting his point of view would be. I can't imagine Sauron's point of view to be that rewarding: I'd expect that some of the "dark lord" type super-villains would just be obsessed with vengeance and conquest to the point of being a bit dull. Of course, there are human villains who are just greedy, or stupid, or just do what they're told and probably wouldn't be very interesting as a result, so it probably depends on the circumstances an awful lot. 

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: The Enemy's POV?
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2018, 04:28:02 AM »
As a writer, I love spending time in the antagonist's head. The only problem...I end up deciding I need to have a different antagonist because the one I started with has too many redeeming qualities. I'm a big fan of turning potential villains into heroes by the end of a series.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: The Enemy's POV?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2018, 03:51:38 AM »
Speaking strictly from real life, I have no problem at all with the inverse - I know so many people who are exceptionally good people with borderline psychopathic issues:
- Devout Christian and all around great guy, devoted father and faithful husband, a fit and highly deadly martial artist, generous, kind, full of humor and courage - but tainted with instability and a knack for conspiracy-theories and a deep prejudice against other faiths. I had to relieve him of his weapon and send him to the chaplain when he lost (someone stole!) his canteen cup.
- Calm, steely nerved Green Beret, seasoned veteran and a man of sardonic wit, who can instantly snatch a child who knows nothing up by the neck and interrogate him mercilessly

The list goes on, but from my point of view, it's not hard to think of failings - it's couching them inside the mind with the positives. I mean, I know what it looks like and perhaps that's what I should focus on, but I will never, ever understand how these peoples' minds work.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 03:55:19 AM by The Gem Cutter »
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline WilliamRay

Re: The Enemy's POV?
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2018, 03:44:36 PM »
It definitely depends on the type of story you're telling... some structures really benefit from it, and others don't.

I think Columbo was a fascinating study in this, because many of the stories were told primarily from the antagonist's perspective.  Unlike most murder mysteries, Columbo episodes usually told you the murderer's identity from the beginning, and it was all about seeing how Columbo could unravel their perfect plan.  You'd see him poking and prodding, but many of the stories' action would center around the coverup, rather than the detection, and that was an interesting approach to an often-stale genre.

On the other hand, Lord of the Rings from Sauron's perspective?  Who cares about Sauron's perspective?  That's not really what the story is about, and seeing him being annoyed at not finding the ring right away wouldn't have added much depth to the plot, and would have undermined his status as the unknowable, implacable adversary.

It depends on the sort of villain, and the sort of tale being told.  Sometimes it can upsell the villain's menace, but other times it just undercuts.  Sometimes the villain isn't the real problem, and it's helpful to illustrate that, but other times that just undoes a twist at the end.  It's definitely not something that has a clear-cut answer that applies to all stories!  When considering it you just have to make a list of what it adds, and what it takes away, and just do the math.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: The Enemy's POV?
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2018, 07:01:49 AM »
Good points. And to tie two of your points together, much of the suspense in LoTR relates to what Sauron knows or suspects; putting the reader in his head, even indirectly (say, through the pov of a minion, etc.) would dispel that suspense along with his mystique. As you say, it all depends on the story and the way it's being told.
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell