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I don't know how you'd really do a study on this. It's far too subjective. One reader might say that he found the death of a certain character very emotional and he was crying so hard he couldn't continue reading, while another might read the same book, shrug and say, "Glad they got rid of that character. He just slowed down the story." Yes, in general a ...


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There a couple of ways to deal with the issue. Maybe he knows a bit of everything, but not a lot. Have issues in the plot where his lack of specialist knowledge causes him issues. Great at learning in some areas, but terribly inept in others. A lot of Anime with powerful heroes balance them out by having them completely inept at things like notice a girl ...


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There are no studies that I'm aware so I'll give you my opinion which is, kill off the character when the time is right. As you've said, too early and your reader won't feel any emotion but too late and you won't have time to deal with the repurcussions of the death. I myself have killed off someone I portrayed as a main character in the first chapter of a ...


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Increase the emotional charge of the main plot. Some possibilities: Increase the intensity of the main story. Make the conflict more conflicty. For example: Maybe some of his allies, horrified at having witnessed what he is capable of, begin to see him as just as evil as the regime they are struggling to destroy. Maybe some of them abandon him, or even ...


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Try to look at it dispassionately; it sounds like maybe the problem is just that it's had enough of an emotional impact on you that you feel like you need to give it the treatment it deserves, rather than paring it back to what is appropriate for your story. What does the audience really need to know about the character? You could write as little as ...


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Without knowing your plot its hard to say, but I think you might have already mentioned the word at the heart of a possible solution. Circle. Don't just have his past haunt him, and explain his actions. Make him confront it again in the main plot. Bring him full circle. What you currently think is your main plot, is just the excuse to see him in action. ...


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This is actually an interesting construct, where the protagonist wants to punish the antagonist for doing the "right" thing, the reverse of the usual. Realize that the protagonist (patient) feels that the doctor did absolutely the WRONG thing. Then have him run down the the doctor like a revengeful "lawman," while the doctor almost gets away. The best ...


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Don't forget good old misinformation. Perhaps the antagonist believes the protagonist is a nasty piece of work and needs to be brought to justice. Similarly feel free to use stress, misconceptions and being emotionally unstable to make the antagonist consider the protagonist to be the 'bad guy'. Treating the first person you meet with a connection to one ...


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First off, I applaud your goal. I read so many stories where the villain is evil for no apparent reason. Most evil people in the real world don't cackle insanely and shout "I will destroy all that is good and true!!" Rather, they have very plausible-sounding reasons for their evil. Some examples of plausible motivations that come to mind: Carrying what ...


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I will tell you the single most helpful thing that helped me in constructing characters for a story. That is the Alignment System. It is often used in role-playing games to construct broad characters, but I've found it is a great jumping off point for creating a more detailed, well balanced character. Constructing a 2d grid and plotting good-evil and ...


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The antagonist can have any motivation as long as they feel justified. It sounds simple but it really is true. In your House example, the antagonist feels fully justified in his actions because his wife killed herself. In a more amusing example, wrestler Mick Foley (Mankind / Cactus Jack) once turned on a tag team partner because he'd left Doritos on the ...


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This may seem a bit unorthodox, but if you'd like to see a very good example of an antagonist with believable motivations, the character Jack/Handsome Jack from the Borderlands video game series is an excellent place to start. This example may be a bit more outlandish/extreme than what you're going for (at least from what I can extrapolate from your House ...


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There are three man ways to deal with antagonist motivation. They can sometimes be combined. No explanation of motive. The book is about the protagonist, the antagonist is just another problem. related variants are mystery and insanity. Pure evil. "Why?" "Because I can, because I want to, because it feels good". Everyone is a hero it their own eyes. True ...


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I actually have the same problem you do. I'm writing a story with more than one antagonist. For the first antagonist I created a motivation for him to act as a "bad guy". The context is about two company owners competing to get a client's account. Protagonist makes an offer to the antagonist as if the protagonist is going to win the contract, even though ...


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Live "Presidents" should be "minor characters" (in your fiction), performing a "public" act. For instance, in one screenplay, I featured a film clip of President George H.W. Bush (father) declaring war on Iraq in order to set a "backdrop" for early 1991. On the other hand, you should not feature a real President e.g. seducing the heroine (and thus playing a ...


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On the question of companies (ex-leaders of countries are open season) it comes down to if you are suggesting that the company itself is bad. Max Barry has John Nike (who works for Nike) commit a number of acts of terrorism for the benefit of Nike in his book "Jennifer Government". Despite all the bad things (and morally dubious actions) of the employees of ...



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