Thursday, June 25, 2009

In the mind of the Bad Guy

There's already a lot of noise in my head, generally speaking, so thinking for people other than myself can be taxing. I don't mean planning or organizing for other people, like I do for my kids, but thinking for them, like I do for characters.

What motivates my main character? What ticks her off? Why is she attracted to one guy but not another? All fun.

Not so much for the Bad Guy. While I daydream about doing super human things the way a protagonist might do them, my thoughts do not effortlessly drift to ways I might kill a person and get away with it. I don't spend a lot of time considering what scenarios would drive me to murder. Or whether I'd be apt to murder twice. In a week. But somebody has to think for the Bad Guy.

It's tough!

The work-in-progress has stalled because I've lost track of where the Bad Guy is and what he's up to off stage. So tonight I'm going to spend some time being sinister and evil and thinking about all the different ways to royally screw people over.

Peace and love, my friends.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really perceptive comment. I've read book after book -- and by good writers -- that fall apart because the Bad Guy (is that sexist language?) isn't completely imagined. If you can see daylight through the Bad Guy/Gal, what's to be afraid of?

    And not thoroughly knowing your villain's character will deprive your plotting engine of a huge amount of fuel. Stephen Cannell, who's certainly prolific, has a sign over his desk that says ASK YOURSELF WHAT THE BAD GUY'S DOING.

    This is among the best short pieces of writing advice I know.