The most well-known villain type is the “evil for evil’s sake” bad guy. This villain has no motives for his evil. He wants to rule the world, and he wants to enslave all its inhabitants.
This type of antag is comical if you take him to his logical end because the question always arises, “What are you going to do if you do enslave the world?” That said, it doesn’t matter what’s next. The important thing is what’s happening right now.
The evil villain is seen most in epic fantasies since everyone knows that evil is bad. Of course we know of the Sith Lord, Darth Sideous from Star Wars. There’s Darken Rahl from The Sword of Truth. The list goes on with these scumbags. Continue reading →
What type of villain are you creating? There are several types, and we are going to take a few days to explore these feats of villainy.
This post will be about the slippery villain. This villain is like a fish that you just can’t keep your hands on. He’s a villain by circumstance, and it only makes you hate him more. Continue reading →
We have all heard of writer’s block, but what is writer’s freeze? Let me begin by expressing the difference between the two. WB is the inability (assumed or not) to write due to a lack of ideas.
Writer’s freeze is different. It’s a term that I stumbled upon in my own writing as I’ve been hacking and slashing my way through this trilogy. WF is the condition where there are plenty of ideas. But here I am, writing this third book, and I am nervous about which ideas to choose. Continue reading →
Tricking the reader is a bad game to play. For instance, having a character pretend not to know that someone is the killer, only to find out that she knew who did it the entire time is wrong. That’s not the kind of trickery that I’m referring to.
What I’m describing is keeping something hidden from the reader, while maintaining your legitimate narrative perspective. Here’s an example. Continue reading →
Empathy deserves justice. Recently we touched on the idea of building empathy for a character. This will, by far, be your most powerful tool for writing. You have to make sure that the reader can connect with the situations that you put your characters through, and the reader must somehow be coerced to pull for your characters within those situations.
Think about it. With empathy, we can make you pull for any character, no matter how sinister he is. The Professional is about guy who wants to protect a little girl, and he just happens to be demolition expert. Well, the writers actually get you to pull for him even though he’s a child molester. Continue reading →
We talked yesterday about using your personal emotions to allow a story to develop. The idea was to think of a topic that brings about emotion, and then use that emotion to form a story. This method can be used with any emotion or affinity.
Let’s say that I hate bunnies. I mean bunnies are the bane of my existence. If I could get rid of them, then the world would be a better place.
This is a facetious example to show how my emotions about a particular person, place, thing, or idea can be used to generate conflict. We don’t even have to go the with the “fantasy-genre” killer rabbit story. Let’s take your everyday innocent bunny. You know…the ones with the floppy ears and the fur that just makes your fingers tingle. Yeahhh….those kinda’ bunnies. Continue reading →
HOW TO DEVELOP A CHARACTER WITH THE STORY RATHER THAN BEFORE
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I’m straying away from the week’s theme a bit, but who cares? As long as we cover some ground, that’s all that matters. I’ve been reading a lot about character development. How I find time to read anything is beyond me, but it happens. It happens when I’m on the bus or when I’m walking or when I’m on my lunch break. I’m either reading or I’m writing.
At 32,000 feet above sea level on an AirTran flight to Milwaukee, I am officially coining a term that I call the Aluminum Can. What does this mean? It’s the little slips in our stories that go unnoticed, or we notice them, but we need these moments in order for the story to progress.
These things aren’t plot holes, nor are they a sign of lazy writing necessarily, but sometimes we need an event to happen, that can only occur if we have an aluminum can. So what exactly is this “Aluminum Can” moment? Continue reading →
Last week you may have been confused with the talk of scenes and sequels. Frankly, the idea originated from Swain, but still, he uses terms that we are familiar with, like scenes and sequels, and redefines them; thus, he makes it all too confusing.
Here’s a brief break down. Scenes have 3 elements: a goal, a conflict, and a disaster. Your character must experience these three things in a scene. In a sequel, the character must process what just happened. Sequels also have 3 elements: a reaction, a dilemma, and a decision.
What do we do! What’s next? Where do we go from here? Pete has just decided to dial 911. The reader is relieved. At least help is on the way. I mean, we have no idea what Pete’s father is doing. The “sequel” has been written.
Now we write another scene. Remember the three elements that we need? We need the goal, the conflict, and the disaster. And the key here is the keep the tension mounting. There are a lot of avenues that we could take, but let’s go with one of the obvious ones.