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The Art of Sims Storytelling

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  • MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,075 Member
    I hope no one minds two posts from me in a row. I only visit the forum a couple times a week, and it's hard to get caught back up on the discussion without spamming. But I found the discussion about romance writing interesting. I think that romance is deceptively hard to write well. It seems like a common and simple concept, but actually making it feel natural in a story, and not forced or sappy, is actually tricky to do. Not to mention, what seems natural and what seems forced or sappy, is very subjective.
    @GlacierSnow That topic is so interesting
    I have often been told that I am an incorrigible romantic in a Danish forum, so I assume that romance is something I deal with quite a lot and something I often try to describe.
    Oddly enough, it makes me feel like a kind of naive and uneducated person. The word incorrigible, contains a kind of assessment that it is something I should change.
    I do not hope that my stories will be discarded quickly for just being rosy romantic tales because I deal with all sorts of other kinds of human dilemmas and emotions ... maybe just apart from malice, which I have a very hard time accommodating. I have a hard time understanding people's urge to be intimidated and feel disgusted as an entertainment. Maybe I'm too sensitive, because I can understand that for someone it can be a tool to power the dangerous and anxious ... for someone maybe a pleasure? ... I got too far away from the subject now.

    Romance is so much more than 'They lived happily ever after'
    For me, it is the spark that binds couples together, despite what life otherwise exposes them to. Although there can also be so many other good reasons why couples stay together than romance.
    Romance is probably usually described as a beautification that ignores the ugliness of reality. For me, it's about what you choose to focus on, because both the beautiful and the ugly are almost always found side by side.
  • MoonlightGrahamMoonlightGraham Posts: 429 Member
    edited January 15
    haneul wrote: »
    @MoonlightGraham's new story about the Sim Cameron Ross

    @haneul Wow, thank you so much for the recommendation! I'm flattered to see my start-of-a-story mentioned along with the established favorites you included. :)

    Do you write premade Sims into your challenges/stories? Do you have any favourite premades (from any Sims game) and why?
    As we were populating the world I'm using for my current story, Z and I discovered her first experiment with Sims genetics in our Gallery. She created a family of origin for Summer Holiday, with parents and a brother. The Holidays had remained in the bin since then, so we decided to move them into a house and see what they would add to the story. They appear to be establishing themselves as one of Willow Creek's best-liked families.

    - Are there any stories/challenges you’ve read that made you like/play a premade Sim you had no interest in before?
    Speaking of Summer, @Kellogg_J_Kellogg's portrayal of her, Travis, and Liberty have made them seem like a lot more fun.
    Post edited by MoonlightGraham on
    Exie hay, cavero, veebo marz viremzico.
    Exie hay, cavero, mabza meeah vendarzo.
    Yevsas marzeemo!
  • Kellogg_J_KelloggKellogg_J_Kellogg Posts: 869 Member
    - Do you write premade Sims into your challenges/stories? Do you have any favourite premades (from any Sims game) and why?
    - Are there any stories/challenges you’ve read that made you like/play a premade Sim you had no interest in before?
    - Do you have a favourite portrayal of a premade Sim in a story/challenge in someone else’s work?


    Definitely yes. I'd say my favourite pre-made right now is Summer Holiday as she's good to write for. She's relentlessly upbeat and perky which makes her a great foil or companion for the other characters.

    I'm going to give a shout out to @Simeralla here as her Eliza Pancakes: Runaway Teen was so good I want to use some of that as backstory for Eliza in my story.
  • friendsfan367friendsfan367 Posts: 28,764 Member
    edited January 13
    - Do you write premade Sims into your challenges/stories? Do you have any favourite premades (from any Sims game) and why?
    - Are there any stories/challenges you’ve read that made you like/play a premade Sim you had no interest in before?
    - Do you have a favourite portrayal of a premade Sim in a story/challenge in someone else’s work?


    Definitely yes. I'd say my favourite pre-made right now is Summer Holiday as she's good to write for. She's relentlessly upbeat and perky which makes her a great foil or companion for the other characters.

    I'm going to give a shout out to @Simeralla here as her Eliza Pancakes: Runaway Teen was so good I want to use some of that as backstory for Eliza in my story.

    isn't eliza pancakes a little old to be a run away teen. i haven't follows the thread for a few days. :)
  • Kellogg_J_KelloggKellogg_J_Kellogg Posts: 869 Member
    You should check out the series on YouTube...Simeralla de-aged Eliza to a teen and did a runaway teen challenge.
  • friendsfan367friendsfan367 Posts: 28,764 Member
    You should check out the series on YouTube...Simeralla de-aged Eliza to a teen and did a runaway teen challenge.

    oh now it makes sense. i didn't know that i don't follow simlit at the moment mask mandates caused me to have to stop wearing my glasses so i can write but noy read, youtube might be ok sometimes that strains my eyes too. thank you friend.
  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,445 Member
    Whoa, the thread is so lively these days! I can’t keep up 🤭

    - Do you write premade Sims into your challenges/stories? Do you have any favourite premades (from any Sims game) and why?
    I usually don’t, but I’ve adored the story surrounding Bella Goth since the Sims 2. It was such a fun mystery to delve into. I recreated all of Pleasantview at some point and a had a lot of fun playing with them again.

    - Are there any stories/challenges you’ve read that made you like/play a premade Sim you had no interest in before?
    Oddly, @MonaSolstraale ‘s Don Lothario in her Tusnelda and Trix story made me really like him despite him being an incorrigible flirt. The way he’s being sweet to Rasmus and trying to include him/cheer him up just melted my heart. 🥰

    - Do you have a favourite portrayal of a premade Sim in a story/challenge in someone else’s work?
    Yes! @mercuryfoam ‘s portrayal of the Grim Reaper. His connection to the story’s main character intrigued me, but it was his mannerisms and way of speaking that instantly lifted him from “oh look, another Grim” to “I want to be friends with this guy SO BAD”. 😆
    J6AKQqX.jpg
  • GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 1,036 Member
    - Do you have a favourite portrayal of a premade Sim in a story/challenge in someone else’s work?
    Yes! @mercuryfoam ‘s portrayal of the Grim Reaper. His connection to the story’s main character intrigued me, but it was his mannerisms and way of speaking that instantly lifted him from “oh look, another Grim” to “I want to be friends with this guy SO BAD”. 😆

    @_sims_Yimi That sounds intriguing. What is the name of the story? I'd like to read it, but it looks like that writer wrote more than one story, so not sure which one.
  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,445 Member
    @GlacierSnow The name of the story is Between Two Worlds, but it seems that it's inaccessible for now as the maker is working on other things. When it comes back I can wholeheartedly recommend it, though 😊
    J6AKQqX.jpg
  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,445 Member
    edited January 14
    Question for the avid readers among us! Or actually, two questions.
    *Edit: three questions! Woo!

    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?
    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was he most memorable villain?

    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?

    I'll answer those for myself later, after dinner 😁
    J6AKQqX.jpg
  • HermioneSimsHermioneSims Posts: 44 Member
    edited January 14
    These are some apparently easy questions, but they made me reason quite a lot, on the difference between a villain and an antagonist mostly...

    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?
    I intend villains as characters who are intentionally trying to damage others, hurt them, or create chaos and disorder around them. I wrote of some antagonists who, in practice, were doing pretty bad stuff to the other characters of the story, but usually they don't realize it and/or they are doing something that, according to their morals and beliefs, is actually right. So that the intentionality factor usually is not there, I don't think I can truly define most of them as villains... The main examples I can think of are from my very first stories.

    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was the most memorable villain?
    Right now I'm quite tired and I can't think of many examples, maybe I will be back on this later...

    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?
    Both when writing and reading, I like villains with a backstory that can (somehow) justify how they turned into the evil people they are in the story. About their development instead, I liked many stories in which the villain was defeated without redemption (willing or not), and also many in which the bad guys changed their minds and passed to the other side before the end of the story. As long as I can perceive their development as natural under the circumstances, or I can somehow identify with their choices, I'm usually fine.
    Post edited by HermioneSims on
    The 4 Colours of Hogwarts, *Chapter 9.1 Updated on 15 Jan 2022*; Legacy Miller, *Chapter 1.17 Updated on 22 Jan 2022*
  • SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 937 Member
    edited January 15
    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?

    Quite often. I realise a lot of my antagonists aren’t the types you can sympathise with, but my intention isn’t to make someone sympathise with the villain a lot of the time. Like I said before I think a few posts back, I don’t think every single character has to be relatable or worth sympathising with. It’s just a case of being able to see through their eyes, and then see why they do the things they do. Most of them all feel like what they’re doing is the right thing, and refuse to believe otherwise/ except for one villain in my SimLit who knows what she’s doing is wrong and doesn’t care, for various reasons.

    I don’t really have an answer to ‘why’, but it depends on who or what I want the antagonist to be. Sometimes it’s a ‘person VS self’ thing and the main antagonist (or one of them) is the person themselves, having to come to terms with something psychological or overcome a certain character flaw or something.

    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was the most memorable villain?

    In a lot of the stories I’ve read, morals are incredibly ambiguous across the whole cast, and sometimes everyone is their own antagonist in what I’ve read- so it’s hard to think of a proper answer. Either that or the story hasn’t made it clear who or what the antagonistic force is yet.
    There is the Blackwell Chronicles story mentioned earlier, whose antagonist is downright chilling for multiple reasons. I always called the character a ‘chessmaster’ type, and always had a way to lure one back in when another character tried to back away- but to prevent spoilers I’ll stop there.
    Baking by Death also had some awesome antagonistic figures as well, but I can’t say too much again because spoilers.

    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?

    Either, really. It just depends on the story and the character.
    I don’t really care too much about the redemption of a villainous character; it’s not unrealistic that a large amount of people don’t care to change for the better, often because the thought of not being right about everything they believe in discomforts them. This is a big part of a lot of my antagonists. Some deep down know they’re wrong, they just don’t want to admit it for pride’s sake or whatever.

    I still try to keep the development in the character- they may realise new things but their morals hardly shift, or come to appreciate or even admire the tenacity of the protagonist against them, something like that. They are constantly-changing people, just not in the sense that they always realise that they are awful and should be better people.

    That said, some of my ‘lesser’ antagonistic characters do attempt to redeem themselves. Most of them do so too late however and no forgiveness is often given. It ends up being a case of ‘at least they tried’ and ‘at least they aren’t as bad as the main antagonist.’

    When it comes to reading, both can be done well and not so well for me. If you can write a good redemption arc, great, because I can’t.

    If a character passes that moral event horizon for me, then I won’t sympathise with them at all. No matter how sad the backstory, a villain who is super awful will not get my sympathy. But I love a well written antagonist, I find writing antagonistic forces difficult TBH.
    Sometimes I can get tired of a story that tries to push the reader to feel sorry for a character who has done countless heinous things.

    As for the moustache-twirling ‘nyehhh!’-definitely-evil-type villains, I think it can be done well if it fits the tone of the story. Like if you have a fun and lighthearted story, a cartoonishly-evil villain is always fun. It can be pretty jarring in otherwise-serious works, though, and I’ve seen it plenty of times for myself. That said, one of the villains I’m writing right now sometimes lapses into what would be considered typical ‘villain talk’ but it’s done with intention, to emphasise how pathetic they really are.
    'Since I have no idea what part of my life will be the middle, I've decided to have an ongoing crisis.'
    - she/her or they/them -
  • FeroshaCoutoraFeroshaCoutora Posts: 131 Member
    Okay, I'm like over the moon flattered!!! <3 (I credit all my success to making Vladislaus Straud a hottie who loves housekeeping and swords equally).

    JK, JK

    If my faves weren't mentioned above, I'd definitely be screaming about them. Almost Eternal and The Sun and Her Fire are excellent. @Dollyllama108 also has a great story called Catastrophe Theory, and a comic called Haunted, which I can only describe as workplace comedy/origin story/romance in 90s era San Myshuno is straight-up delightful. Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't shout out Tales of Camelot by @Yimiki because it's King Arthur Times, and it's fantastic (also the screenshots are gorge and I wish I could get mine to look even 5% that fantastic).

    I'm gonna take a crack at the questions @SnowBnuuy asked:

    - Do you write premade Sims into your challenges/stories? Do you have any favourite premades (from any Sims game), and why?

    I stan premades for stories. Like @GlacierSnow, Vlad is my fave, and clearly, he's at the center of my story. I also fell in love with Alice Martin, of StrangerVille fame. I ended up fleshing out a deeper backstory for her, and she is just my whole heart. I think most of my characters are actually premades with rare exceptions. I play D&D, so when I use a premade, it feels likes collaborative storytelling to me.

    - Are there any stories/challenges you've read that made you like/play a premade Sim you had no interest in before?

    Ya know, Lilith always had an offscreen role in BBD until I started reading Almost Eternal and went back to her with fresh eyes. I think I'd written Caleb for so long and fell into the trap of making her "character development" for him rather than her own entity. Now I've got new plans for her!

    - Do you have a favourite portrayal of a premade Sim in a story/challenge in someone else's work?

    Hands down, it would be Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV (really, he prefers just Bernard) in @Dollyllama108's story Catastrophe Theory. Her version of Bernard is precisely what I envisioned if he woke up and stepped out of the game. But she also writes him with this chaotic energy and when he is in a scene, I can barely pay attention to anyone else. I know he is a fictional character but I really want him to be my best friend and come to my dinner party.

    I'm also obsessed with seeing what other people have done with Morgyn in other stories. I'm floored every time I read someone else's version of them and find that they feel true to character but are also entirely different from how I approached them. Honestly, I'd like to see a Battle of the Morgyns, though. I fear @SnowBnuuy's would win, the Sun and Her Fire Morgyn is not one to be trifled with :smiley:

    @MonaSolstraale, I'm so glad you mentioned The Blackwell Chronicles because I LOVE this story so much, and @ThePlumbob's Morgyn is ah-mazing.

    Oh, and @GlacierSnow, ditto to what you said about dealing with the messy middle of relationships. I love romance, I'm a huge fan, and I make no bones about the fact that my simlit is paranormal romance. But I'm less interested in the will they/won't and more interested in the meaty stuff in the middle. After all of the shine has worn off, how do they make decisions together? What does romance look like when it goes beyond the meet-cute? I think that's why my characters tend to get together and get committed pretty quickly because I just want to get to the good stuff in the middle!
    Dark Family Comedy & Paranormal Romance

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  • SnowBnuuySnowBnuuy Posts: 937 Member
    edited January 17
    @FeroshaCoutora Yay! Good to see you here ~ To be fair I normally don't like premade makeovers if it's too heavy an edit or if it kind of 'changes their vibe' for me for lack of a better description, but I love your makeover of Vlad a lot. He's still recognisable as Vlad, and still has that 'intimidating boss-man' vibe about him.

    And thank you so much, I'm so happy you enjoyed TSAHF <3 And thank you for putting it on your faves page on your blog. It means the world <3 It's cool that The Strauds takes inspiration from it and I'm excited to see where that goes! That said as I was saying in my reply, Vitriol is actually BBD-inspired in some ways, as well as ToC-inspired. Mainly trying to manage a larger cast, various plot threads, more supernatural elements than there already is. Although trying to do all of that within the confines of the unmodded game can get tricky!
    (also the screenshots are gorge and I wish I could get mine to look even 5% that fantastic).

    Shshsh your screenshots are amazing! Especially the magic effects and the fight scenes!

    I'm so glad you bought up D&D because for me, SimLit and tabletop roleplaying/D&D have their connections. I've come to realise I prefer storytelling and characterisation when I have a framework to go off of (whether that's a pre-written campaign, or the players' actions). For me it's more fun to have a starting point and go from there, than it is to make everything up myself. And of course I have the game and RNG to give me ideas as well as I'm playing or screenshotting. It's fun to see what different people do with the same framework. And YES I love what you've done with the premades, you've really brought them to life.
    ...fell into the trap of making her "character development" for him rather than her own entity.

    I have a bad habit of doing this a lot. It's something I've tried to sort out in the third story, giving people more focus on their own lives and stories than those on the main characters all of the time. At the same time though, sometimes it can be hard to include everyone in a way that doesn't make them feel extraneous. I struggle with that.
    I'm also obsessed with seeing what other people have done with Morgyn in other stories.

    Same! I'm obsessed with most things magic and fantasy anyway, but for me it's the sheer wretched-excess potential that makes them such an exciting character. I mean, if you were the master of all things to do with magic that's deemed out of control, you could be both pretty darn awesome, and pretty darn scary. It means a lot that you love my Morgyn ;-; but I think in the grand scheme of things, my Morgyn wouldn't be able to touch the other Morgyns- Compared to how powerful B2W, Blackwell's and BBD's are, my Morgyn seems like a Neophyte Practical caster.
    Post edited by SnowBnuuy on
    'Since I have no idea what part of my life will be the middle, I've decided to have an ongoing crisis.'
    - she/her or they/them -
  • GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 1,036 Member
    Cool questions about villains @_sims_Yimi .

    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?

    Maybe...? :lol: The conflicts I create in my stories (mostly) arise because the characters have different personalities and/or values. I tend to humanize all my characters eventually regardless of where they stand in the conflicts. It's just how I think. I always want to understand the "other side" of the story. But I do have characters that at least start out with what appears to be purely malicious behavior toward the protagonist. They just don't always stay that way. I have a natural tendency to drift toward empathy in my portrayal of any major character, including the "villain". So, probably, I don't really create villains. Just a bunch of people who disagree.

    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was he most memorable villain?

    I don't have an answer for this question right now. No villains are coming to mind.

    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?

    I definitely prefer a villain that is humanized or redeemed through the story, both in reading and writing. In fact, I tend to get wildly excited about "villain" characters who eventually change sides, or change their minds, or where a change is made in how they are portrayed that lets you understand their side better (and maybe even change your mind about who is right and who is wrong). That change is what tends to make those characters memorable to me.

    Unquestionably evil villains who remain so the whole way through the story are the ones I generally can't remember later. Same goes for unquestionably good heroes, though. I am most drawn to characters with a lot of internal conflict, not just external conflict. The experience the character goes through as they struggle with their own conflict of interest or values is what makes them an exciting character to me.
  • MonaSolstraaleMonaSolstraale Posts: 1,075 Member
    edited January 16
    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?
    I do not use villains so often. I find no pleasure in living out their vicious inclinations. I always end up feeling sorry for their victims.
    However, I will say that Allan in my current story is pretty villainous. He uses psychological violence and threats of physical violence to control his wife. She is quite boundless and rebels in a very unhealthy way, but that is no excuse for him behaving like a villain. Their marriage is very dysfunctional and the dynamics between them really interest me more than the evil itself.
    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was he most memorable villain?
    There's two villains I have not forgotten.
    The first villain I came across in a story was Wolfgang from The Candle Lit Chronicles In that story, he has just been turned into an extremely dangerous vampire. Maybe I remember him especially because it was one of the first Simlit I read. Unfortunately, the story never got a real ending.

    @ThePlumbob turned Morgyn into a villain, in The Blackwell Chronicles. A seducer who exploited and manipulated their "victims" in the grossest way. I was constantly a little divided around Morgyn. There was something vulnerable shining through and over time we became so much wiser, which should not excuse all the damage that had happened.
    When I think about it, I have come across quite a few memorable villains. I have not yet mentioned Seth from Almost Eternal. He is obvious because he is ruthlessly brutal towards his victims.
    I can also think of several more mundane villains manipulating their surroundings in Ashes to Ashes.
    Common to all these villains is that the more one dives into their story. The more for you sympathy for the victim hidden behind the vicious facade.
    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?
    I definitely prefer to describe a villain evolving and becoming more human over a story. I do not think I am capable of anything else.
    However, I have met several villains through my life that I think will never evolve. Why should they want to change if their current behavior pays off? Or if fear of punishment keeps them stuck in a vicious circle?
    I do not know if I prefer to read about one over the other. It all depends on the story and whether it makes sense for them to appear in it.

    NB: Just an addition. Thanks for the question @_sims_Yimi
    I do not know why I did not mention Agravaine as number one. He is a villain I can not find anything conciliatory in. Maybe that is why I have almost erased him from my consciousness :lol:
    Post edited by MonaSolstraale on
  • RipuAncestorRipuAncestor Posts: 2,280 Member
    edited January 16
    @haneul Oh, thank you so much for the shout-out! Kind of you to recommend my story by first impressions alone. I'm flattered!

    I would recommend anything from @CathyTea 's SimLit Anthology - so much good writing and kindness there

    Also Livin' A Simmin' Life by @AdamsEve1231 is full of very detailed, awesome worldbuilding and interesting stories. Her Krazy Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright also has the answer to the question of
    Do you have a favourite portrayal of a premade Sim in a story/challenge in someone else’s work? for it had a very sympathetic and interesting version of Gage Briody!
    doublebannerpic.jpg?w=676
    My Sims stories:
    The Fey of Life - fairytales in life are few and far between (Forum thread HERE)
    The Chrysanthemum Tango - a story about life, death, magic, and how to be a good landlady (Forum thread HERE)
    Forget-Me-Not - some things just refuse to stay buried; an Ambrosia Challenge story (Forum thread HERE)
  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,445 Member
    @HermioneSims Hehe, yes. They seem easy at first but they actually require a bit of thought. Interesting! So your antagonists and villains both hurt the heroes, but antagonists don’t do it on purpose or think they’re in the right, while villains do what they do for clearly malefic purposes? That’s a good way to divide them 😊

    @SnowBnuuy I think we’re thinking of the same villain here! They were very interesting from many perspectives and I hope the writer will be back to finish the story someday. And I hear you on forcing the readers to feel bad for the villain. I’ve read a couple of stories like that too, where it was clear that the writer believed you should feel sorry for or sympathise with their villain. Ironically, once I start noticing that, I usually end up disliking them more 😂

    @FeroshaCoutora Aw, thank you for the shout-out 🥰 I’m thoroughly enjoying your new story so far and can’t wait to see where you take us with it!

    @GlacierSnow Thank you! A bunch of people who disagree can turn into antagonists and villains, too, depending on your definition of those two words 😊 I agree on the change of viewpoint! It’s fun to read stories where a person starts out on the “right” side and gradually realises, through the villain, that their side isn’t the “right” one at all.

    @MonaSolstraale I definitely remember Allan. The way he messes with his wife’s head is awful, regardless of what kind of things she does. I agree with you on memorable villains – Seth and Morgyn were both absolutely awful, yet the more you learned about them, the more difficult it became to truly hate them. Bwahah, so Aggro showed up in this list, after all 😂 The less said about him, the better, probably. Erasing him from your consciousness sounds like a good way to get rid of negativity!

    Right, I suppose I should answer my own questions.
    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?
    Absolutely! Though I will preface this by saying that I have a very different view on villains and antagonists than most people here do. It boils down to this: if someone is trying to stop my heroes, that person is an antagonist. If my heroes are trying to stop someone else, that person is a villain. My villains are to my heroes what the heroes are to an antagonist. I’ll add some more detail in a spoiler blurb below for the people who are interested.
    You’re interested? Yay! 😁
    Okay, so we all know there’s no story without some kind of conflict. And the antagonist usually has motivations, desires or goals that directly oppose that of the protagonist. I put them into two types. It could be an obstacle, like the guard that won’t let you break a prisoner out of jail, or the priest that hates magic and that you need to keep your powers a secret from. It could also be an enemy, like the “friend” that is hell-bent on making you fail at life, or the future mother-in-law that won’t let you marry her daughter. An obstacle opposes the protagonist by accident. An enemy opposes the protagonist on purpose.

    My villains work the other way around. They have a goal that clashes with the protagonists, which makes the heroes need to work against them. They're the ones that are hell-bent on world domination, or the vampire that is wreaking havoc. With a villain, my heroes are reactionary. Where my antagonists are temporary sources of conflict, my villains are plot arcs. They are adventures. I have dozens of antagonists in my story, but so far, only three characters count as proper villains.

    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was he most memorable villain?
    I don’t remember the name of this story, as it was a very long time ago. But back when I read TS3 simlit, there was a sim that wanted to become a vampire because she wanted to be eternally beautiful. The vampirism enhanced her worst traits, and she went on to become a villain that was obsessed with doing the same to her family that she’d done to herself. It had a happy ending for the family, but I still remember her from time to time.

    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?
    If it is a story with only a handful of characters, then I enjoy a villain that can be made to change their goals, or that gets humanised through the story. But if there are a lot of characters that are already shades of grey, and the reader is already shaky on who to trust, then I actually prefer a villain that is clear-cut black-and-white. The more shady characters a story has, the more I find myself looking for a grounding point where I can say “okay, this character is a good guy, this one I can trust” and “okay, this is the bad guy” and figure out everyone else from there. That’s just me, though.
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  • MoonlightGrahamMoonlightGraham Posts: 429 Member
    edited January 16
    As a new Simlit author, I enjoy reading the responses all of you give to the questions, even when I don't have the experience to answer some of them myself. It's lots of fun to see glimpses of your thought processes as you create your stories and the characters that bring them to life.

    For example, I just introduced the first character who could possibly be considered a villain. Because I often let the events within my game drive my story, I'm not sure yet what kind of villain Seth might be.

    Seth entered the story because Z and I "caught" him running across the UBrite campus wearing Foxbury colors. Then, he initiated an unpleasant encounter with one of Z's favorite Sims. Thus, a villain was born.

    If I "catch" Seth behaving kindly at some point, I might decide he can be redeemed. Then Z and I will create a backstory for him that explains his villainous behavior and provides him with a chance to show a more positive side to the world. Or, if I continually see Seth being rude or mean, I might put him in the "rotten to the core" category.

    @_sims_Yimi Like you, I have a number of likely protagonists in my story so far. It follows, then, that I'll probably end up with a variety of antagonists, too. So far, only one Sim has been malicious, and he directed his malice at a "minor" protagonist. Seth hasn't met Cameron yet, although I've set the stage for a possible encounter in the future. :)
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  • haneulhaneul Posts: 1,121 Member
    edited January 17
    @_sims_Yimi Thanks for these questions. I enjoyed reading everyone's answers, so I'm going to try answering as well even though I struggled with them a bit because I don't think of my Sims in terms of heroes and villains.

    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?
    Not really. I have some antagonistic characters that appear from time to time, but they cause minor annoyances and don't quite rise to the level of villains or at least I have never thought of them as villains. My main characters have antihero vibes, but they're not villains either.

    Generally, I prefer to concentrate on my cast as it is and dislike having outside forces doing a lot of work in progressing the plot, but there are occasionally such influences.

    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was he most memorable villain?
    Hmm… I don't know. I'm reluctant to label characters as heroes/villains.

    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?
    Most of the time, I don't like villains that are unquestionably evil. That can be fun, but I generally like characters that are motivated by more than just being evil. I get bored if someone is just evil to be evil. At the same time, though, I don't care if a villain is redeemed/humanized or not. I think I prefer villains that are evil in one way (but not in every aspect of their personality) and that evil aspect doesn't change/get redeemed, but there's more to them than just that.

    ETA: My favorite genre is fiction/literary fiction/realistic fiction, and my favorite novels don't have villains so they're not something I really think about. If I read fantasy, I'd probably have a different approach/opinion.
  • Kellogg_J_KelloggKellogg_J_Kellogg Posts: 869 Member
    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?
    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was he most memorable villain?
    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?


    Yes, the Landgraabs fulfil this role in Sim 66. So far Nancy is the out and out villain, Malcolm comes close to being one and Geoffrey is a reluctant one. The Sneedleys aren't villains; they're antagonists. I'm not sure if, at this stage, the Fengs are going to be villains, antagonists or neutral characters. As for villains I have created myself, the assassin/arsonist Leanne McGregor is the main one. None of these characters, with the exception of the Sneedleys, are main ones...they're supporting or occasional characters which is where I think they work best. If I featured them regularly then a lot of mystery would be dispelled.

    I'm terrible at remembering character names but here goes...in that story about the young hotel magnate there was a good corporate boardroom baddie. Very reminiscent of Dallas. Then there's the nasty sister in @SnowBnuuy's story, I really liked how horrid they were. I like the scenery chewing villains in other people's stories.

    I probably prefer my heroes to my villains when writing them because I like the people I create. I work by the maxim that the villain is the hero in their own story.

  • GlacierSnowGlacierSnow Posts: 1,036 Member
    edited January 17
    _sims_Yimi wrote: »
    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?[/b]
    Absolutely! Though I will preface this by saying that I have a very different view on villains and antagonists than most people here do. It boils down to this: if someone is trying to stop my heroes, that person is an antagonist. If my heroes are trying to stop someone else, that person is a villain. My villains are to my heroes what the heroes are to an antagonist. I’ll add some more detail in a spoiler blurb below for the people who are interested.

    That's an interesting way of looking at it. Not the definition I've usually seen, but I think in practice it often works out like this. If I look at it that way, my current story is definitely going to have a "villain" or at least a "villainous group", but they won't be seen until further into the story.

    Looking at it this way, the start of my story has various antagonists. The middle has a rogue/nemesis. The end will have a villain.
  • FeroshaCoutoraFeroshaCoutora Posts: 131 Member
    This is such a dope discussion. I'm so glad @_sims_Yimi asked this question!

    1. Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?

    Absolutely. I love a villain, the more complicated, the better. The Strauds are a whole family of villains, and I enjoy writing them as complex, sympathetic characters even as they are unquestionably sowing seeds of chaos. In many ways, Baking By Death was toying with the trope of capricious gods and how their actions might be interpreted differently if you looked on a macro rather than micro level. I just think that "heroes" can look a lot of ways, and I love taking "good vs. evil" and turning it on its head.

    2. In all the simlit that you've read up until now, who was the most memorable villain?

    This is a hard one! There are so many I love and adore. Seth from Almost Eternal, Morgyn in The Blackwell Chronicles (though I was constantly putting on my "Morgyn Fan Club" t-shirt and taking it off again!). @MonaSolstraale mentioned the Candle Lit Chronicles, which I ABSOLUTELY LOVED, and Wolfgang just lives in my head rent-free. Mike from @Dollyllama108 Catastrophe Theory made me want to throw my computer. He was so infuriating. And it was an excellent example of how you can write a villain, be in their POV, and they are unquestionably, 100% the literal worst, and it's still compelling. I also enjoy examples of "villains" who occupy that in-between phase. I spent a lot of time yelling about King Arthur in @_sims_Yimi story, and then in one chapter, she completely shifted my view and made it so much harder for me to put him in a box.

    3. Which do you prefer to write? A villain that is unquestionably evil, or a villain that can be redeemed/is humanised through the story? Which do you prefer to read about?

    I definitely want to see the villain transformed, but I don't think that necessarily means a bad guy promising to be a good guy. Redemption can mean understanding some specific ways you've hurt people and resolving to move differently through the world, even if that doesn't necessarily translate to being "nice" or "good." If the villain doesn't change somehow, they shouldn't be a protagonist because the story just stagnates. Characters have to change. That's what we're reading for IMO <3

    Replies to other peeps under the spoiler tag, so this doesn't get too long!
    @SnowBnuuy I am working on a D&D campaign right now while I'm also working on my new story, and it's incredible how much they influence each other. I think your Morgyn scares me (in a good way) because they are so willing, so early, to go to level 100. Like that's a bold choice, and somehow I still managed to spend 90% of the story like, "hmmm but are they are really wrong?"

    @_sims_Yimi
    Where my antagonists are temporary sources of conflict, my villains are plot arcs.
    Oh man, this really hit me, and I want to think about this for a while. I love how you describe the difference between an enemy and an obstacle, but your point about villains makes me look at my story a little different, specifically when it comes to Vlad. Without spoiling too much, I've been writing people's reaction to him as pretty knee-jerk. Part of that comes from trying to find a way to write in the whole "undead aura" thing that makes sims automatically dislike him. But as I'm reading the way you're thinking about villains vs. antagonists, I'm wondering if Vlad is really just the antagonist in a lot of other characters' stories...hmmm....food for thought!
    Dark Family Comedy & Paranormal Romance

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  • rednenemonrednenemon Posts: 3,175 Member
    Do you use villains in your stories? Why (not)?

    Most certainly I do. If it's meant to be a story with an ongoing plot, some kind of heavy topic, or otherwise something besides silly little fluff pieces or comedic little vignettes, chances are there's going to be some kind of antagonist.

    I feel the need to point out one of the most prominent (and obvious) and eventually the main antagonist of Racket-Rotter:
    *cough*Builder*cough*

    But before they first show up in the story, there are most certainly other antagonists.
    One example being Silver, Dennis' ex-wife and Shark's biological mother. She does have the (somewhat understandable) vice of alcoholism to explain her actions.

    Silver's first appearance in the story has her stumbling drunk. There are efforts to help her later on after this, but they end up failing. Things get so bad later on in Arc 1, it culminates in Silver stabbing her own son in the chest.

    The last time she's seen in the story (before Arc 7, which is a flashback arc), she's begging with Shark to help her out of the current situation she's in. Of course,
    he refuses. That's the last time he ever sees his biological mother alive. A short while later, she dies (due to Builder's intervention).

    Silver did indeed have a rather menacing demeanor about her, in the limited appearances she has. She ended up becoming such an unpleasant blight on those who knew her, that come Part Deux, Shark absolutely refuses to associate himself with her (he refers to her as 'Dad's first wife'. As far as he's concerned,
    Blaise is his mother now, not Silver.

    There are other examples, but those may come later on should a sufficient topic arise.
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  • _sims_Yimi_sims_Yimi Posts: 1,445 Member
    Hi @MoonlightGraham ! Seth sounds like he’ll be a great source of negative drama if he continues acting badly in your game. I wonder if he’ll end up as a redeemed sim with a backstory, or as a rotten-to-the-core one. Should be fun to explore either possibility!

    @haneul It’s certainly sparked a fun discussion! I’m glad I posted the questions in here 😄 I tried thinking of sims that could be seen as antagonistic in the Fiers and the only one that sprung to mind was
    that boy that Deli used to have a crush on, that continuously put her down until she grew sick of him. I don’t think I’d call him a villain either, though. Just a potato. 😆

    @Kellogg_J_Kellogg I still have to get to sim 66, but that sounds like an interesting array of characters! Most people are the hero in their own story, that’s very true, no matter what kind of decisions they make.

    @GlacierSnow I know it’s not exactly common, but it’s how I’ve approached villains for years and definitely how I plan them as a DM. My stories tends to be different shades of fantasy, and there’s usually something that the “heroes” have to stop or overcome. It’s a very often-used formula, but I’ve always liked it. I keep wanting to click the banner or link in your signature and then remember that there’s none there yet. Is your story in a forum thread somewhere? 🙂

    @FeroshaCoutora yay! Ferosh joined the dope discussion! 🤩 I love the way BBD turned good vs evil on its head to the point where I really wasn’t sure if I was rooting for the villain or the hero anymore. Probably both. And neither. It was amazing, haha. Thank you for the compliment! I assume you mean Uther there 🤭
    I'm wondering if Vlad is really just the antagonist in a lot of other characters' stories...hmmm....food for thought!
    He might be! I wouldn’t know at this point as I’ve only read a snippet of your new story, but I’m glad something in my gibberish made sense and might be useful 😁

    @rednenemon Very true! Without conflict, most stories would not exist, after all, and antagonists and villains both come with the territory depending on the type of story you write.

    Whew. I didn’t think there would be so many responses to my silly questions. Thank you so much guys. It’s been a blast to read all of your comments 😁
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