Saturday, November 24, 2018

Article on Michigan Murder and Mayhem:15 of Literature’s Most Villainous Names

Whether they hail from Disney or Dickens, all great villains have something in common: a malevolent, terrifying name. One that strikes fear into your heart from the first time you hear it, making you think, “How in the world did someone come up with that name?”
Some of these may look familiar, but they’ll still send a serious shiver down your spine. Read on to relish 15 of the best villainous names in literature, sure to inspire dread (or at the very least a good Halloween costume).

Monday, November 19, 2018

Article at Michigan murder & Mayhem: Cliffhangers: Is the Suspense Worth It?

*Slams down a mug of tea, looks bitterly off into the distance* You want to know what I hate? (You probably don’t, but you’ve gotten this far). Cliffhangers.
To emphasize why I don’t like them, I could just end the article here, or, like, three sentences ago. But I do have a wordcount to fulfill, so by gum, I’m going to talk about cliffhangers.
I think, in most cases, it’s super lazy writing, or rushed series-creating. The author pitched a single story to an agent, who then said, “Let’s make this into three books!” And the author panicked while tripling the size of a single story. “Shoot, in my original draft, this is where I put my climax…um…to be continued. Yeah, that works.”
Obviously, that’s not the case for every cliffhanger in existence. There are some good ones out there. I can’t think of any, but I know they’re there. I’d also argue that there are genuinely good ways to use most literary techniques. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

How to approach writing a villain Protagonist?

How to write a hero when they are an anti-hero.

A question from Ryan Covert:
How about a Schrader-esque analysis/discussion on how to approach the writing of an anti-hero?
A villain as the story’s protagonist. Obviously this is more of an advanced screenwriting theory, as well as probably something that has better roots in independent cinema, but I’m about to tackle such a scenario and a few pointers, ideas, or advice would be great.
Good question, Ryan. Although the particulars would depend upon the genre of your story and whether the villain is somehow redeemed as a result of what happens in the story (Road to Perdition) or ends up in a ‘negative’ state (Scarface), the basic approach is, I would think, very much the same as how you develop any Protagonist character. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Article at Michigan Murder and Mayhem: Create Killer Twists: Learn How to Redeem Your Villain

You might think a villain can’t be redeemed. After all, they’re sinister and twisted and think killing people is a post-dinner dessert choice. But even villains are people, and, no matter how coal-crusted it gets, they have a heart buried somewhere inside their ribs. Besides, readers love a good twist and what’s better than a villain suddenly seeing the light?
What is a Villain Redemption Arc?
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