Where I’m at Wednesday April 16, 2014
With getting back into the swing of things, I haven’t attributed much on The Omphalos. Yes. . . I feel incredibly guilty, but rest-assured I will write!
Changing the subject, we’re gonna talk about ANTAGONISTS.
In books and movies, we fall in love with the main character(s); however, we cannot deny a well-written bad guy either. Let’s face it. . . villains add spice to the story!
First, the “obvious evil” like Freddy Krueger, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Lord Voldemort are prime examples of apparent malevolence. Several villains are SO bad that the audience demands immediate justice, for instance, Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Governor in The Walking Dead. Then there’s the nice guy turned bad- Jack Torrance in The Shinning, and Annie Wilkes in Misery. In The Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Hannibal Lector is a character wavering between wisdom and insanity. Certain villains we can sympathize with and even cheer for, The Joker in The Dark Night, and Loki in Thor.
So how do you write wicked characters?
It’s easy! Just embrace your bad side. C’mon, we’ve all got one. . . don’t deny it.
I usually run down a list of good villains in my head—extracting their “not-so-nice” qualities. One specific sinister trait I enjoy is an intelligent character that teeters on trustworthiness. Another attribute is the unsuspecting or unlikely evil.
Your villain, however, doesn’t always have to be a person. Objects can be most useful. Even items—normally not scary, can become frightful if given the right antidote of suspense and evil attributes.
As a writing prompt, answer questions about your villain(s).
-First, identify the enemy.
-If you were the main character, what’s so scary about the bad guy?
-What sinister qualities does your antagonist have?
-All characters have a weakness, what’s your villain’s “Achilles Heal”?
-Does he/she act alone or do they have a group?
-If the villain isn’t a person, what abilities does the object(s) exhibit?
In the beginning, I wouldn’t resolve the conflict between your main character(s) vs. the bad guy. For now, focus on developing the evil personality—demonstrate several situations that make them “bad”.