quote: Hahahaha! xD
Well, there were some cases where I did want them to utterly demolish the hero, but that's another story.
quote: He's a Big Bad and not a Complete Monster, true, but the "everything dictated by a prophecy" thing is all in his head. He's causing it to come true simply because he thinks it will. Mind Over Matter, indeed.
Well, in my opinion, Voldemort isn't a monster either. Well, having everything dictated by a prophecy is kind of out of control, though there is the possibility that it's a self-fulfilling one.
quote: Most extreme-type character tropes are subjective, actually. I, for example, might not think that Lex Luthor is a Complete Monster (because Evil Has Standards), but you might.
I don't like shoving characters into boxes/roles and I don't like telling the reader what to think about specific characters. The characters are people, with their good points and their flaws. No one is all right and all wrong, and no one possesses the right to arbituarily declare what is "wrong" and "right." So I let my hero do whatever fits his personality, and the audience is free to think of him as a knight in shining armour or a psychopath. Tricks like deliberately giving the villain only a semi-sympathetic backstory because the author is afraid the audience would sympathesize /too/ much... no. I rarely if ever pull those tricks, and when I see it being done, it often baffles and annoys me.
quote: Voldy is a prideful bigot and serial killer, but I find him human enough to count just as a very scary Big Bad, rather than a complete monster. He's still completely, irrevocably evil, but he's not quite where I lose all sympathy for him.
I think what makes characters like Voldemort and Xykon "complete monsters" is that there is no reason to what they do. They are just Evil. There's no catastrophic event that turns them evil, they don't have a good cause for why they're evil. They just are. It's frightening because it's completely unrealistic, as no one in the real world is evil like they are, and they are over-the-top. These characters cannot be redeemed, because there never was any good in them to begin with. Doesn't mean they aren't human or complex, but they are simply evil.
quote: Amen. I like varying shades of gray. Most of my characters have grown up on the street, so they kind of have to be that way, but I (hope I) can show a chick who's a female Jerk With A Heart Of Gold in a fairly neutral (though, since she's my Mary Sue, leaning toward the brighter shades) light.
Among other writers, I get a nod when I say I like morally grey characters. Among regular people, I get a raised eyebrow.
I think my first thread in this section is going to be a HP discussion. xD Thanks, Motivation, Backstory, and Everything Evil thread!