Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Villains Are People, Too

One of the earlier bits of advice I was given when I began writing was to remember that the villains have goals and dreams, too, and that the best villains don't necessarily see themselves as evil. Some advice tells you to put yourself in your villains' heads and see if they don't actually think they are the heroic ones.

I agree with this, to a certain extent, anyway. My villains certainly have their goals and dreams clearly defined -- usually better than my heroes do. But I can't say that my villains consider themselves good guys, or even think that their motivations are pure. Most of my villains know they aren't the good guys.

My villains tend to be practical. The "if I get rid of this and that person and move this money here, I rule the entire country" kind of folks. They know they aren't "good" but they're also unapologetic for being bad. It's just good business.

My heroes, by contrast, seem less methodical. Not that I write haphazard or accidental heroes. I write antiheroes more frequently than accidental ones. But my heroes are usually struggling with moral and life issues, whereas my villains are more content.

I'm pretty content in my life, with clearly defined goals and dreams. I wonder if that makes me a villain?

All the best,
C.W. Walker

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Time...Not On My Side

Where has well over a month gone?

I realize I was busy. But I made the commitment to blog at least somewhat regularly and here it is, about six weeks after my last blog. I hardly call that 'regular'. And I hardly noticed the time passing, either.

I notice it when I'm writing. By that I mean I remain hyper-aware of the passage of time that my characters and storyline are going through. Has too much happened to fit into a regular day or night? Then it's time to alter something, either the flow, the pacing, or edit just a few lines to move day to night.

Is not enough happening? I'm aware of that, too. If it's not enough to fill the hours, then either something more must be added in or we need to start the next chapter with, "The next day..." as our first words.

But time in real life flows much faster than time in novels. An author can describe one moment for pages or one year in a sentence. But in the regular hum-drum world, time moves forward one day at a time.

Clearly, I need to look up and pay attention to it a little more often. But you see, it's so different in this story I'm working on...

All the best,
C.W. Walker

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