I have often looked at a book, movie, TV show and looked at the characters within and gone ok that's a good character that character the writers didn't use loads of intelligence when they thought it up etc. This thought pattern comes naturally to me and I do realize this doesn't happen with everyone especially those writers who are just getting started with writers concepts. So I thought I would do a food for thought posting for my blog on this subject.
Lets start with before you get your good guy (Protagonist) and your bad guy (Antagonist) your mind is full of probabilities for characters. So let's start with 3 well known type of characters specifically in the movie genre: The Werewolf, The Vampire, and The Zombie.
1: Werewolf: Accept for the Underworld movie and the Twilight movie series this character has not had alot of "showtime". The makeup of weather the character is a protagonist or an antagonist is usually used in the format of balancing out the story, this is especially true within the Twilight series (referring purely to the movie series btw). Within the Underworld series they were the precieved Antagonist especially in the first film where you had the death-dealers and lycans explained as opposing forces. What surprised me here was (in my opinion) the writer of the Underworld series actually started to deepen the werewolves in his storyline moving away from the vampires and accept for the specific main character Selene the storyline became more of a werewolf vampire love story. <<getting back on track>> It has been my experience that werewolves are either Antagonists or Transplant type characters. Heres food for thought (to my knowledge there hasn't been to date a movie or TV series where the werewolf is portrayed as a Protagonist to even the neutral level of the Selene vampire character.
2: Vampire: From Dracula to The Vampire Diaries this character has been used from the Protagonist to the Antagonist and everything in-between. This is good but recently I've noticed a total lack of creativism not just in the creature concept but in character design. The "oh ok we have a vampire in our story it will have two fangs drink blood either fly or not be in sunlight for a limited time (Moonlight Series)" mentality. Which I'll go as far as saying will kill the attraction to any genre that has this type of character in. If I was to use a vampire in a story myself I would pay more heed to the character make up not of the supernatural aspects of the character because those will be self explaining as soon as the reader reads the word "vampire." For an example how could a vampire character who say was around during the Ancient Roman Empire affect history? Or what expressions would that character have going through that said history there is alot of room for character interaction and emotional expressions between the Vampire and other characters that cross their path.
3: Zombie: Now this is a character which really isn't a character. In my opinion they not even technically the Antagonist even in movies like Dawn of the Dead, Dad of the Dead,etc. I personally call them "Theates" a represented danger to both Protagonists and Antagonists within whatever storyline they are in. Now having said that the closest in my opinion that the Zombie has come to becoming a character was the weak attempt in Resident Evil movie series. This character format could work well in an Antago-Protagonist concept for example instead of doing Zombies chasing humans turn the situation around from a different angle the Zombie's individual perspective. Remember don't just go with the usual rule of (especially with zombies) that they are Undead with no intelligence. Be creative and give them some the character creation is your the authors domain and there are few rules to it.
So to all you novice writers out there Think Creatively! Don't just pick up where other authors left a character format! And most of all Think OUTSIDE THE BOX!
Thats all for now folks!!