Hey, Weren’t You Supposed To Be Sympathetic?

When I was talking last week about sympathetic antagonists, one of the disadvantages I listed was that it was easy to slip somewhere and end up with an antagonist that just doesn’t come across as sympathetic. Let’s face it, when it comes to antagonist sympathy, subjectivity is a more dangerous opponent than the protagonists. But [...]

The Hazards of Sympathetic Antagonists

I talked yesterday about all the cool features of sympathetic antagonists. It has to be admitted, though, that sympathetic antagonists come with their own set of inconveniences; you can’t have the good without the, well, bad. Mostly, these take the form of difficulties and complications for us; they may be cool dramatically, but they’re a [...]

The Joys of Sympathetic Antagonists

One of the character archetypes I find most interesting is the sympathetic antagonist—that living obstacle to the primary characters, whether villain, antihero, or just inconveniently motivated, who through her characterization elicits some level of sympathy from the audience. But what makes these sorts of characters so nifty, useful, and all in all effective for us?
Sympathetic [...]

Creating Awesome Old Characters

Yesterday, I talked about awesome old characters, and why they work so well with their audiences. Today I’m going to look a little more closely about how we make the awesome oldie.
First off, remember confidence. The awesome old character has been around for a while; she knows what she can do, she knows how the [...]

Four Reasons Why We Love Awesome Old Characters

I’ve noticed that in a lot of works of fiction, I’ve found myself drawn to the characters at least a generation older than the protagonists who show themselves capable of wit, social maneuvering, and all sorts of overall awesomeness. Iroh from Avatar. Boneclaw Mother from Digger. Simon Illyan from the Vorkosigan series. Torogai from Seirei [...]