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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In your books, do your 'wicked' characters generally get 'what they deserve' in the end?

Something I've had in feedback a few times (either via beta reads or once through a review) is that I don't exact enough revenge on the wicked.
I mean, I'm not nice in my books. People die, people get eaten alive by alien life forms, people get trapped in the worst places, and the 'wicked' don't get what they want in the end. But it seems I need more gnashing of teeth and violent killings (or just plain 'comeuppance' on the 'bad but not quite so wicked').  ;D

So, I've added much more comeuppance and violent ends. I can see where readers won't find an ending satisfying without it.

But I admit to feeling ripped off in movies and books where the bad guy/woman comes to a violent end. And it happens SO often. They put their victims through all kinds of suffering and then they get to die in a matter of seconds (in a gross, violent way it's true, but it's quick). I want them to get caught, go to jail, have to live with what they've done. The quick death just seems too kind.  :mad:
 

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I go where the story leads. In my novel, Shade, the main character, Shade, becomes a hero and some bad guys are punished. But, in my short story, Occupy Faerie, the bad faerie is wickedly successful. In my short story, Coyote Crossing, the bad guys win. I include a lot of social injustice themes in my books, so in many cases the evil and corrupted come out ahead.
 

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If a character is really evil, I have no trouble with gruesome deaths. Mwahahaha!

A lot of the time, though, the character is not truly evil, just motivated by different aims, and because I write series, my characters have to learn to live with this antagonist in some sort of uneasy collaboration. This is awesome when you write series, because the situation can explode at any time.

In certain types of genres, evil characters can be done away with in gruesome fashion without impunity (and it can be very satisfying), but if you write a more realistic genre, then the character has to learn to live with the antagonist, and this can be an interesting situation with a lot of conflict that's awesome to write.
 

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Cold.
 

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I think the most satisfying endings happen when the antagonist gets his due, not by coincidence or luck or fate but when

A) the antagonist gets caught by his/her own trap

B) the protagonist gets to serve it


Who didn't cheer when Hermione punched Malfoy in the jaw?
That boy needed a knockdown for years.
You have to
when George McFly punches out Biff and takes his woman back into prom.

So many times, things go wrong for our protagonist, I think in the end they need a HUGE win.
You build up and build up that tension... then so many people decide their protagonist needs to take the high road. *Sigh* Then something coincidental happens to the antagonist...
 

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If he's hurt the heroine, she gets to kill him. Or at least wound him grievously, or get him caught and sent to prison.
For me:
2x kill him
2x wound him
1x trap him so he's sent to prison
1x nothing. That was one where the guy did something really crappy, and then took off to another country. However, the hero made sure he lost his job. Only time I wasn't able to have the heroine exact revenge, because it wasn't realistic.

The hero helps. But the heroine's generally a big actor too. I hate it when the heroine's cowering behind the chair, unable even to consider that she might, I dunno, jump on the bad guy's back and help her man. Who wants that woman?
 

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Depends on the story. Cool ongoing villains escape to fight another day or go to jail so they can escape.

Arch villains who did a lot of damage and would verge on villain Sue if the got away with it? Oh they die. Boy do they die. I generally don't kill characters as a rule, so when I kill someone they are D-E-D dead, let me tell you. The 'A' is missing because it was killed in the backlash the death was so hard.

Also, while death is generally recommended to be served cold, I find that slightly chilled with a little lemon zest and a dash of sweet chili sauce is a kicky twist to an old favorite.

[[Editor's note, by 'lemon zest', I mean 'dismemberment via razorwire', and by 'sweet chili sauce', I mean 'explosions']]
 

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I write psychological thrillers. My new series is The Avengement Series. It's served up cold and by the victim. Like my ending tagline for this series says: Karma really can be a b*tch--especially when it scores a willing partner. (My There Was a House saga also has revenge served by the victims, and it is scalding.
 

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They don't.  I tend to let the bad guy win.
 

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Caddy, there's a potential title for your next series:

Karma is a Bi*ch ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Marilyn Peake said:
I include a lot of social injustice themes in my books, so in many cases the evil and corrupted come out ahead.
Ah, yep... sounds like real life! Sadly.

Patty Jansen said:
A lot of the time, though, the character is not truly evil, just motivated by different aims, and because I write series, my characters have to learn to live with this antagonist in some sort of uneasy collaboration. This is awesome when you write series, because the situation can explode at any time.
In my sci fi, the antagonists are a lot less evil than in my horror series. I think in horror you have to add that extra chill. I agree it's fun when it all comes to a head - I love the slow build and tensions over a series.

cinisajoy said:
*Imagines Cin sitting in a plush red armchair by a crackling fire, glass of red at her side, plotting away....*

MyraScott said:
I think the most satisfying endings happen when the antagonist gets his due, not by coincidence or luck or fate but when

A) the antagonist gets caught by his/her own trap

B) the protagonist gets to serve it

So many times, things go wrong for our protagonist, I think in the end they need a HUGE win.
You build up and build up that tension... then so many people decide their protagonist needs to take the high road. *Sigh* Then something coincidental happens to the antagonist...
Ha! In the book I just finished, someone does exactly that - gets caught in a trap of their own making. Literally.
I haven't yet had my protags take the high road but in my series they couldn't win against the antagonists (a family headed by ghosts) - they could only foil their plans.

Rosalind James said:
If he's hurt the heroine, she gets to kill him. Or at least wound him grievously, or get him caught and sent to prison.
For me:
2x kill him
2x wound him
1x trap him so he's sent to prison
1x nothing. That was one where the guy did something really crappy, and then took off to another country. However, the hero made sure he lost his job. Only time I wasn't able to have the heroine exact revenge, because it wasn't realistic.

The hero helps. But the heroine's generally a big actor too. I hate it when the heroine's cowering behind the chair, unable even to consider that she might, I dunno, jump on the bad guy's back and help her man. Who wants that woman?
And here I was thinking that your books were a lot lighter than that! :D
Yes, it drives me nuts when a woman watches a fight anxiously but never jumps in to help, not even when it seems like the love of her life is going to get killed. This scene plays over in so many movies.

Vaalingrade said:
Also, while death is generally recommended to be served cold, I find that slightly chilled with a little lemon zest and a dash of sweet chili sauce is a kicky twist to an old favorite.

[[Editor's note, by 'lemon zest', I mean 'dismemberment via razorwire', and by 'sweet chili sauce', I mean 'explosions']]
I made it so that my 600 year old ghost was brought back to life in human form (merged with a version of himself from an alternate universe) and then spirits he'd trapped in an oubliette all those centuries tore the flesh from his bones. That wasn't quite enough revenge for one of my male readers lol
'dismemberment via razorwire' might have satisfied that reader. He was right about what happened to the others from that family - they got off too lightly.

Caddy said:
I write psychological thrillers. My new series is The Avengement Series. It's served up cold and by the victim. Like my ending tagline for this series says: Karma really can be a b*tch--especially when it scores a willing partner. (My There Was a House saga also has revenge served by the victims, and it is scalding.


I'm 20k into writing a psychological thriller now. No more YA for the moment. Sounds like your victims get to turn the tables! I'm not sure what's going to happen in the end of mine yet.

ML-Larson said:
They don't. I tend to let the bad guy win.
Because it's a series?

Kirkee said:
Caddy, there's a potential title for your next series:

Karma is a Bi*ch ;D
lol
 

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Served with lead, usually. Or steel.

First season I introduced about 3 major bad guys and a few minor ones. Most of the minor ones died. One did not and probably will not in season 2. Kinda like the guy. One major bad guy died at the end of season 1. He saw it coming and had no choice but to walk right into. Hating every step. Angling for more time. The other two bad guys, one will meet his end in season 2. Unsure how but I am hesitant to have it be bloody. Thinking a ruined life would be better. Like Job in the bible but with no reversal. Everything taken from him. Everything.

I think it depends on the series and the expectations of the fans. I also think it is not just about inventing new ways to kill people. The death/punishment needs to match the character. Jail for a high-flying playboy. If the bad guy is an animal then trap him and put him down like an animal. If they are good at plotting and manipulating people then the need to be plotted and manipulated into their own demise.

But then again, a shotgun is always an excellent choice.

RC
 

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Kirkee said:
Caddy, there's a potential title for your next series:

Karma is a Bi*ch ;D
I LOVE it! I have several ideas for books but only putting four books in my Avengement Series...I'm keeping your suggestion in mind for the title of the next 4 book series. :) Thanks!
 

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My protagonist is professional, so she's not into making her targets suffer unduly. However, in some cases she needs to fabricate a death and that might make the target suffer.

I don't really deal with black and white characters. Most of my characters, including my protagonists, are fallable characters whose good deeds can turn out bad and vice versa. And Katla doesn't just kill baddies.

I did have one beta wonder why Katla herself didn't get her comeuppance, but she's a bit too smart to get caught...
 

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When someone needs revenge in my stories, it's usually the result of them being caught by their own misdeeds - for example, in my new book, one character, when she loses her temper, turns thing and people into frogs. She winds up turning herself into a frog, and it takes the action of another character to turn her back, since frogs can't say magic words. She winds up using the word "FROG" (not the magic word that turns people into them, just the word FROG) as a swear word.
 
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A.A said:
In your books, do your 'wicked' characters generally get 'what they deserve' in the end?
Death. Bloody, painful, horrific death. Usually accompanied by torture.

But I write romance. People are either having sexy time, or getting killed.
 

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A.A said:
Because it's a series?
No, just in general. There actually isn't a bad guy in my current series, but there are some bad people who sometimes get away with bad things.

In the novel I put out earlier this year, the "bad guy" was a character who was doing everything in his power to make his brother's life miserable, going as far as trying to find ways to get him deported back to their home country and setting up a situation that led to a vicious public breakup between the brother and his fiancee.

He didn't win, because things crashed down for everybody involved, but he still came out on top compared to the brother. It sells incredibly poorly, and I have no idea how to even categorise this thing, but it was very fun to write, so I don't care.
 
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