After the previous post, I looked at each of my characters to see the direction I steered them towards. A lot of my characters stated as an extremely passive. They didn’t act or react to their situations, nor did they reach for a goal, which is bad for story and character progression.
I also previously wrote that it seemed like “damaged” characters (manly from soap operas I used to watch) made things happen in storylines. Those characters with passion seemed to have the freedom to act. When some of these cats got knocked down, they got back on their feet, and tried a different approach.
The above actions are typically what I see with villains in many stories. They could be earnest, aggressive, and assertive. They didn’t simply react, they acted, they had goals, and no one was getting in their way. If you did get in their way, well, you were bound for trouble.
Heroes should be this way as well, and this may have been a blinding factor for me.
In soaps, many heroes (not all) can be passive, unsuspecting, and clueless to the world around them. The hero defined the genre of melodrama, which is, bad things happen to good people. To me, a soap opera hero didn’t have to do much in the story other than be the constant victim of a damaged character.
It’s only when the hero’s caught onto what was going on in the world around them, was he or she able to react, but it’s always at a late, late moment. By then the villain has made attempts to get their goals, got thwarted, and took a different routes to get what they want. The villain has had far more time to for character development and growth. The villain pushes the narrative with great urgency and strength.
Some villains typically do what the hero should be doing in a given story, which is make things happen. It also suggests to me that the narrative theory is that those only who have desire act in a devious manner. If you are bubbled and pure you will persevere though simply being good. Total rubbish.
I believe characters must be active in their own story or they will be supplanted by another more engaging characters. This may also explain the appeal of villains as secret MCs in storylines. Think of how flat some storylines are when the hero and/or villains are cardboard. It’s what I’m doing right now.
As always, happy creative endeavors.