It is summertime which means it is picnic season! Unfortunately, we currently have a wildfire burning near the valley so the smoke does not make an outdoor picnic too enjoyable right now. I hope you have better picnic conditions where you are.
So besides good weather what makes for the perfect picnic?
Welcome to another installment of Write Tip Wednesday! Today I’m discussing villains.
There is something to be said for insane people, but most villains are human and therefore have both negative and positive qualities. Something that can make a book better is if the reader can understand and relate to the villain.
I’m a big western fan. When I decide to waste time watching TV it will most likely be the western channel. Recently I watched The Jayhawkers staring Fess Parker. It is set before the Civil War and tells the story of Luke Darcy who envisioned himself as a charismatic leader of a new independent Republic of Kansas. He is actually the villain in this story, and was very, very likable which made his fall at the end all the more gripping.
The hero in The Jayhawkers is played by Fess Parker. He made a deal to get paroled out of prison if he brought Luke Darcy in to stand trial and hang. The two men have quite a history. Luke Darcy actually stole away Fess Parker’s wife.
Okay enough rambling. Back to the lesson. One way to make the villain human is to actually write scenes in their point of view. What better way to explain their motivations, their hopes, fears, and dreams etc.
If you don’t want to write scenes from their pov then you still need to convey in your story that they are complex. All too often I read stories where the villains just don’t like the hero and are out to get them. Why? There has to be some history there. Is it an ongoing family feud? In a writing class I took several years ago the teacher said that if you have a really nasty villain have them do something nice when you first introduce them for the reader for example have the guy pet sit for his elderly neighbor’s cat while she is in the hospital. The main thing is just show that they are not 100% evil. Having a complex villain can really improve the story and sometimes it can even make the story.
Do you have any advice on what makes a villain human? Please feel free to share your thoughts on the subject!
I haven’t really blogged steady in a LONG TIME. I do realize this. I also realize that most of my recent blogs have been promo related. What can I say? Those are easy to throw together and they are fun for me, too. If you read my previous post you know that I haven’t written much since my grandma passed away. This includes blog posts. I haven’t felt too sociable or inspired.
I think back on my glory days of blogging when I was first getting started and I took on the challenge to blog every day for the entire year. I think that was in 2010 but I’d have to double check. I didn’t make the whole year but I made it at least six months. I shared everything from life observations to writing excerpts to bits of history I found interesting from my research. In order to write daily I just posted whatever came to my mind.
I’m not saying I want to write daily again, but it is time that I open myself up and offer more on my blog. Look for a wider range and hopefully more frequent posts from me. This is a struggle, but I know it will have a rewarding payoff. I’m an introvert, a very private person, but sharing more of my life will be a good experience for me even if no one cares to read and comment. It is kind of like keeping a dairy which I failed each time I tried growing up. We shall see how this goes!
This blog post was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my writing buddies. Her last few stories have been darker than usual and it got me thinking about why. Do writers write according to their emotions? If a writer is sad or depressed do they write darker fiction than when they are happy? If a writer needs to write a scene from the villain’s pov or perhaps a death scene do they call upon the time when they had those emotions to get the tone just right?
I think it is different for every writer. Personally, I have a hard time writing anything when I am depressed. My Grandma passed away in March and I’m just now starting to get back into the habit of writing daily. It got to the point that I had made time to write but I just sat staring at the screen. My thoughts were elsewhere than on my stories.
I do have to be in the right mood to write certain scenes. If a scene is particularly dark I know that if I write it the right way it will leave me feeling empty and sad or even depressed. Sometimes I am not ready to ruin a perfectly good day by writing such a scene.
Also, now that I have gotten into writing romance I have to be ready to write a love scene. Many times I leave a note to myself that I need to go back and either add it in later or finish a partially written scene.
Well, those are my thoughts and experiences on the subject! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Wild and Tender Care has been released! I’m still enjoying the moment days later. If you celebrated the 4th of July yesterday I hope you had a good time with family and friends.
Here is my second excerpt. This time only 7 sentences.
He turned and walked back down the street leaving her speechless. She unlocked her door and headed for the pitcher of water in her bedroom, splashing water on her face. She hadn’t been dreaming. The doctor just said he’d call on her again.
Dizzy with delight, she sat on the bed. Dr. Steere said that they’d had a lot in common although he hadn’t shared much of his past. They had one thing in common she knew—they were both outcasts.
Could two outcasts find a place in each other’s arms?
I hope you enjoyed my excerpt. I encourage you to check out the other blogs participating in this week’s My Sexy Saturday hop.
The town of Big Rock, Colorado is changing its wild-west ways, and ex-madam Ida Page and new town doctor William Steere are finding it difficult to be accepted for who they are. But when these two outcasts meet, they find their rightful place in each other’s arms. Haley Whitehall burns up the pages in her hot, new historical romance, Wild and Tender Care.