I watched the first episodes of Forever. I think I am going to like the show. OK, so the doctor in the lead is a rip off of Sherlock Holmes, complete with British accent. I truly hope he stops dying in every show. The only reason for it seems to be that he comes back from death naked and wet.
What I really like about the show is that the nemesis showed up at the very beginning, and only as the voice on the phone. Most TV shows introduce the nemesis around season three when watchership is dropping off. This feels fake to me. If the guy is so hated, where has the hater been for the last two seasons or the first 27 stories? In prison, out of the country, busy with his own stuff?
Holmes' Moriarty doesn’t show up until "The Final Problem," originally written as the last story in the cannon. This left him without much of a roll to play since he died shortly after his appearance. Simple solution, have Watson pull stories out of his memory where he now sees the hand of Moriarty. But Holmes could not stay dead and may have lived on to be Conan Doyle's own nemesis.
Time to pull out the trusty two volume Oxford English Dictionary. Nemesis is the Goddess of retribution. Definition 1: An agent of retribution. Definition 2: a persistent tormentor. So Nemesis is really a she.
In the case of fiction, a nemesis is a character, usually, but not always, evil, who runs thought the story arc as a sort of dark threat. The lead character has to do his regular work and ward off the thing that seeks to destroy him (or her).
Holmes/Moriarty, Castle's Kate Becket/her mother's murderer, James West and Dr. Loveless, Batman and everybody. I'm sure you know dozens of others; add your favorite to this list.
Our heroes are good, maybe with a flaw or two. Sometimes a nemesis can trigger something in the hero that shows another side of his character. He might prove stupid or over emotional when dealing with his nemesis.
Can the writer use her to show something we the reader or viewer doesn't know about our hero? Is our hero truly good and being tormented unjustly? What is it about the nemesis that both compels and repels the hero? Or the reader?
The problem for a nemesis is that she has to get away at the end of every adventure. Perhaps she never comes close enough to get caught. Perhaps something distracts our hero.
Or does the nemesis provide a boring character to blame things on?
My characters don't have such dark shadows luring somewhere just out of sight. As I think about writing darker, I realize that maybe they should.