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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Writing the Bad Guy's Story

I’m having issues with the story I’m writing. I don’t know my bad guy. I don’t have a climax for the story. Yeah, this is working.

But there are certain things I do know. In the climax, the protagonist prevents the antagonist from achieving his goal. Specifically, this wizard wants to kill a certain character (to use his blood in a spell).

You’d think that would be enough information, but I’m having issues putting all the needed characters in the same room. What was this spell? How would it work? How would the threatened character get lured into all of this?

You’d think a plotter would have already figured all of this out. To a certain extent, I had. But I focused more on the overall picture, and small details, like why this wizard was doing this spell, were overlooked. Oops.

It’s time to figure out exactly what the antagonist is up to and why. It is time to sit down and write the antagonist’s story.

Last week, I sat down and did just that.

Have you ever taken time to write from the antagonist’s point of view? Did it help?

14 comments:

mshatch said...

yes, figuring out the bad guy's motivations, where they come from, how he/she got to be the bad guy, can make a huge difference in how a story works. Why does the wizard need a certain character's blood? Does the wizard care about the character or only the spell? Is he so obsessed with his work that people don't matter? Is he working alone or is someone else pulling strings? Those are some questions that come to my mind right off.

Good luck!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Absolutely.... I thing writing from the antagonist POV is really interesting. You get into the psyche of his/her being: twisted, manipulative, angry, psychotic, calculating... what fun to write using these elements of their personality... the possibilities are endless.

Good luck.

Ink in the Book said...

I always have trouble with the bad guy because I love my good guy so much I hate to see them with enemies in their face. So, I write the bad guy first. SOMETIMES. No always, but sometimes. This way, my good guy has a better way of escape because I already know what the bad guy is up to. Sometimes, though, my good needs these obstacles to make them a stronger person, so writing my good first works better.

Lisa Regan said...

Yes, it helps sometimes. I read once in a really good writing book that you should try to figure out or outline your whole story but from the bad guy's perspective first, before you start. That helped me. I don't always need to write all those scenes, I just say if I was the bad guy, the story would go like this: and then I do an outline. Good luck!

Liz said...

Thanks. I knew a couple of those answers already, and that helped.

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

(Hate typos...)

Yes, it made me think about what is considered evil and why someone would willingly choose this.

Liz said...

Write the bad guy first... That's an interesting idea. I'm always so focused on the hero's journey.

Liz said...

That's good advice. I'll have to do that next time. This time, I'm determined to save this story.

Jadzia Brandli said...

I've actually never tried to write from the bad guy's POV. I think it's a great idea though, even if it's only to help me understand my villain's motives. I might try it sometime, because I've come across the same problem in one of my books.

Angela Brown said...

Good luck getting your antagonists story told. It will make for adding some depth to him/her. I'm currently in need of doing something similar so the bad guys don't seem quite so cardboard.

Liz said...

I wouldn't have done it, but I was stuck.

Liz said...

Yeah, it's sad that much of it will never make it to the page. But I found that I really need it.

Huntress said...

I wrote a 20K ms detailing my bad guy's motives and background. It became a fascinating journey that I will go back to someday and finish. If only because it became an epic fantasy of the kind I love. Swords and Sorcerers