The Main Character Is the Villain Chapter 23 is defined as any main character with clearly negative actions and intentions, who doesn’t offer any redeeming qualities for others despite appearing harmful. These characters tend to cause real pain to others.
This can add an effective twist to the hero arc in stories wherein their objective is to overcome an evil counterpart (Villain Antagonist). Some examples include Light Yagami, Louis Bloom, Zim and Thomas Shelby.
The Protagonist’s Goal
Your main character needs a clear goal that can drive the plot forward; otherwise, events could happen that don’t add up to an overarching narrative arc.
Your protagonist may pursue external goals such as solving a murder or winning their romantic interest, but their motivation must also come from within, be it wanting revenge or believing they deserve to be treated fairly.
According to Lisa Cron, writing craft expert and author of Story Genius, characters should face difficult story problems that create tension within the story arc; otherwise there would be no drama and no need for change within their goal-directed goal setting arcs. Protagonists need to embrace and ultimately overcome such challenges throughout the narrative’s length; that is what distinguishes great protagonists.
The Protagonist’s Motivation
Your protagonist’s motivation is one of the key components in any good story, without which their character may become lifeless and dull to readers. Their motivation should reflect who they are as an individual while encouraging them to engage with your plot’s conflict.
Your protagonist should be able to explain her actions and decisions to readers in an understandable, relatable fashion. For example, if she’s motivated by career success or emotional security in her marriage, she should be able to provide convincing reasons as to why she opens letters from their late partner even when they contain sensitive or upsetting material.
Motives that resonate most convincingly tend to come from internal logic. For instance, when your protagonist is an arch-villain who wants justice for crimes committed against hanitumy by the high chancellor, their motivation becomes much easier to accept than if their motivation were driven solely by sexual lust.
The Protagonist’s Personality
A protagonist is the main character in any story – be it literature, theater or cinematic works. They must overcome resistance from their antagonist to achieve their goals or desires.
Based on their role, villain protagonists may come off as unlikable or even cruel; but readers remain fascinated with characters with multiple dimensions, and the best villains contain some trace of humanity that cannot be completely eradicated from their hearts and souls.
A protagonist should be easily relatable and their goals and needs recognizable to readers, just as in real life. For instance, Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir Persepolis features a young protagonist struggling with identity and state violence during Iran’s Revolution, making her easy for readers to identify with. Another key characteristic that any protagonist should possess is being dynamic over the course of the story: one character should change and adapt over time.
The Protagonist’s Environment
The protagonist of any story is meant to be the central figure, with whom readers or viewers should empathize and root for. Traditionally, this character may be depicted as an upstanding individual struggling against an antagonist – although that doesn’t have to be the case! There’s nothing that requires protagonists be morally upright to qualify as main protagonists in fiction stories.
Fiction boasts many notable villainous protagonists, from J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield and Walter White of Breaking Bad to Louis Bloom from Nightcrawler. Additionally, serial killer Ted Bundy had many characteristics which humanized him rather than making him seem caricature-like; these added layers of complexity to his character.
Consider how their surroundings may influence them when creating your protagonists. For instance, attending a reconciliation dinner at a popular couple-oriented restaurant could prove much harder if its atmosphere seems menacing or creepy.