Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Wednesday's Writer's Tip - On Villains #amwriting
Not all stories have true villains but some have characters who for some reason oppose the hero or heroine or both. There are several things the writer needs to watch their stories for that might change the story. These are gleaned from How To Write Mysteries by Shannon OCork.
The first one is my favorite and that is making the bad guy more interesting than the hero or heroine. Doesn't mean this character is likeable or even wonderful but he or she becomes the one who sparks the reader's interest. In a mystery, for the writer to spotlight the villain means the reader will stop rooting for the hero or the heroine. This can also spoil the ending. There have been times when as a reader I've known the bad guy the instant he appears on the scene and this makes me want to put the book aside. One book I recently read there were 200 pages after I knew who the murderer was and I also wanted to know why the main characters didn't know.
Some of the advice I found was interesting. Give all your characters a flaw and this can misdirect the reader's view.Let the bad guy remain in the background. Concentrate on the hero or heroine, or what needs to be solved and forget about wondering who did the crime. Give the hero and heroine lots of problems to solve. If a murder, or some other crime, give the victim a good sign.
Do these ideas flow to other genres than mystery. They can, if you have the opposer to the hero or heroine's gain of their goal as a seeming minor character in the story. I hope I have learned how to do this and will continue to work on adding a bit of uncertainty to my stories.