Today I came across How do evil protagonists win the reader over in dark fantasy stories? , a question from 2011 from a now-deleted user. It reads to me like a forum-style post -- idea-generation, general chat, and the specific question/problem isn't very clear. It's got a bunch of answers, which would make rewriting it hard.

Should we leave it alone? Close it? Drop a historical lock on it? Something else?

  • I agree that this isn't a very good question. Were it asked now, it'd be closed within a few hours as unclear or off-topic. Dec 17, 2013 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


I agree that as it stands, this is not a good question. I'm seeing three possible sub-questions here:

  • "Has anyone ever done this?"
  • This is either a yes/no question (spoiler: the answer is yes) or else a list/poll question.
  • "Just curious about people's opinions and pitfalls of this type of story."
  • This is not really a question.
  • "I would need to find away to make [the evil protagonist] likeable."
  • This would be a decent question (although we might have a duplicate).

The one sub-question that might work is really not the main focus of the question as written, but some of the answers do address it directly. It'd be a bit of heroic editing to whip the entire page into shape.

I am going to put the question on hold for the moment. If others agree that the focus I'm suggesting would work, or find another workable fix to the page, then we'll do that and reopen. Otherwise, the question should be closed permenantly; we don't want to attract more items on the list of "instances where a villian has been the protagonist."

  • 1
    Another possibility: ask a new question for the sub-question that fits the site (if not a dupe), invite people to migrate answers that address that to the new question, and then put a historical lock on what's left. (Or just leave it closed; that works too.) Dec 18, 2013 at 15:21
  • as for first, a yes/no question is okay (if suboptimal), and then if any single entry from a list serves for confirmation, it's not really a list question. The caveats question might work, but not bundled like this.
    – SF.
    Dec 25, 2013 at 21:44

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