Limyaael

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08:39 pm: Rant on avoiding a villain monologue

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 2nd, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
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a) times when mass communication is available, thus transmitting information more quickly than happens in your typical fantasy world,


This is a big one. If your plot is taking place in an era where communication is slow and literacy is rare, a lot of news is going to be spread by word-of-mouth.

One other thing - I would think a good villain would see the value in too much information as well as too little. Perhaps he puts out tons of different possible plans through people he suspects of being funnels for information to his enemies, so they have to do the painstaking work of trying to figure out what he's actually planning. That kind of ties into your point about the villain lying due his monologue.

Anyways, good to have you back. I did seriously consider that you had either died or become incapacitated by long-term illness; you had mentioned that you were suffering from frequent illness in your November post, and it does happen.
From:[info]conuly.livejournal.com
Date:December 2nd, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)
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Perhaps he puts out tons of different possible plans through people he suspects of being funnels for information to his enemies, so they have to do the painstaking work of trying to figure out what he's actually planning.

And he gets to isolate the people he now KNOWS to be gossips from the real information. Double win!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 2nd, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
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Oh, definitely. A good example of this involves a certainly dwarfish character in George RR Martin's A Clash of Kings.
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From:[info]maureenlycaon
Date:December 2nd, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
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Good idea. Done right, this should make it almost impossible for his enemies to figure out which one is the truth and which are lies.

And to Limyaael -- welcome back.
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From:[info]limyaael
Date:December 3rd, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
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Thank you.
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From:[info]limyaael
Date:December 3rd, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
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Thank you.

A lot of villains, unfortunately, have to be just smart enough that the protagonist can outsmart them. The authors of villains like this don't want them to outpace the rather slow, drawn-out mystery plot. I suspect that much would be improved by letting villains be intelligent in the ways you suggest, and also allowing protagonists be intelligent enough to counter such villains.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 3rd, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
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Good point. Although maybe we should be somewhat more sympathetic to the authors - it probably is hard to write really intelligent characters, particularly characters that are smarter than they are, without it coming off as the plot bending to their whims.
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From:[info]limyaael
Date:December 3rd, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
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I think it is hard. On the other hand, I think a lot of time people write characters they think are intelligent, when really they're no such thing. It would be easier to write intelligent people if they let them make some mistakes and wrong guesses and gradually get closer to the truth, instead of just putting everything together at once or in some great blaze of revelation.
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