Tag Archives: Orson Scott Card

Creating a Credible Villain

Today’s post is all about that character we love to hate: the antagonist, also known as the villain.

VV is for Villain

an•tag•o•nist noun \an-ˈta-gə-nist\: a person who opposes another person. Synonyms: adversary, enemy, foe, archenemy, nemesis, bane, competitor, rival, villain.

The antagonist can also be a group of characters (e.g., an institution) or a force (e.g., the weather), but for purposes of this discussion it will focus on the individual as the villain. Before we begin concocting our villain, we must understand the role the antagonist plays in the story.

What is the role of the antagonist?

The antagonist should serve as:
• An opposing force
• An obstacle for the hero’s goal
• A worthy opponent

The villain is one of the two most important characters in the story. Some believe it is more important than the hero. Without the villain, there is no opposing force to create conflict and tension, and no obstacle for the hero to overcome. It’s important to note that the villain should be more powerful than the hero. This is necessary for the hero to grow (character arc) in order to win and be truly heroic.

“The hero and the bad guy are a matched set and should be of equal skill and strength, with the bad guy being just slightly more powerful than the hero because he is willing to go to any lengths to win.” ~ Blake Snyder

What are the ingredients for a credible villain? Continue reading Creating a Credible Villain

Would You, Could You, Read a Fiction Book?

dr. seuss 2I was at a party last night when the topic turned to the latest “must read” books. My ears perked up as I listened to the discussion. They happened to be works of fiction and a few people chimed in with comments like:

“Oh, I can’t read a book if the story’s not real!”

“Why would you read about something that never happened?”

“They’re a waste of time!”

“I learn so much from those self-help books. What can you possibly learn from fiction?”

Really? They have absolutely no idea what they’re missing.

As typical, my thoughts on this subject swirled with another post I recently read. I wish I could remember who wrote it but my brain seems to have filed away that bit of information. Anyway, it was about finding time to read and the author asked for responses in the poetic style of Dr. Seuss. The next thing I knew, this little ditty started to form in my head. Hope you enjoy it.  Happy Friday!

I need to read.
I need to read.
Read, I need.
Fill my need.
I beg and plead.
But don’t make it that
fiction, you love to read.

Do you like
to read a book?

I do so love to
read a book.
But I don’t want fiction
on my nook.

Can’t you read fantasy?
Why must it be reality?

I do not like fantasy.
Realism is the only way for me.
Fiction has no legitimacy.
If it’s not true, then I won’t read.

I do so like
to read a book,
but I can’t have fiction
on my nook.

Could you read
Catcher in the Rye?
Could you read
The Sheltering Sky?

I cannot read
Catcher in the Rye
I cannot read
The Sheltering Sky
I cannot read such
subliteracy.
I can only read
Non-fiction, you see.
I do so like to read a book.
but I won’t put fiction on my nook.

Would you read
Sophie’s Choice?
Or something else
by James Joyce?

Not Sophie’s Choice.
Not James Joyce.
Not Catcher in the Rye.
Not The Sheltering Sky.
I cannot read it if it’s not true.
No made-up worlds will ever do.
I do so like to read a book
but I won’t have fiction on my nook.

Would you? Could you?
Read Animal Farm?
Or Hemmingway’s
Farewell to Arms?

I would not,
could not,
read Animal Farm.

Or Hemmingway’s

Farewell to Arms!

You may like them.
You will see.
Try Ironweed,
Fifty Shades Freed?

I would not, could not read Fifty Shades Freed.
Nor Ironweed! You let me be.

I would not like Tales of the Beadle Bard.
Or Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
I would not like Stephen King’s The Stand.
Or any book by that woman Ayn Rand.
I would not like Melville’s Moby Dick.
Or that strangely titled book, Ubik.
I do so like to read a book.
I just don’t want those on my nook.

Twilight! Wuthering Heights!
How about At First Sight?
Could you, would you try
Tender is the Night?

Not Twilight! Not Wuthering Heights!
Not at First Sight or Tender is the Night!
Please tell me, you got that, right?
I would not like An American Tragedy.
I would not like The Guide to the Galaxy.

I would not like Sense and Sensibility.
Not even The Studs Lonigan Trilogy.
I would not like The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Or anything by that guy Salman Rushdie

Say!
Emily Bronte?
Or Charlotte Bronte?
All Quiet on the Western Front?

I would not, could not,
Read a Bronte.

Would you, could you,
Read Pearl S. Buck?

I would not, could not, read Pearl S. Buck
I’ve already told you, I don’t give a –
Not even a book by Harper Lee.
I do not like fiction books, you see.
Not Lord Jim. Not Lucky Jim.
Not even Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. Not even on a whim!
I will not read a fiction book.
I do not want them on my nook.

You will not read
a fiction book?

I will not
give them,
a second look.

Could you, would you read
On the Road?

I would not,
could not read
On the Road.

Would you, could you read
Tobacco Road?

I would not, could not read On the Road.
I will not, will not, read Tobacco Road.
I won’t read a world that’s fantastical.
I treasure my books that are biographical.
I will not read a mystery.
It must be truth from history.
I will not read a work of science fiction,
where alien creatures are the main depiction.
I will not read a silly romance.
It’s hardly worth a second glance.
I will not read a romantic suspense.

Reading illusion doesn’t make sense!
I will not read
a fiction
book!

I do not want them
on my nook!

What is this aliteracy
that you claim?
Read them! Read them!
You’ll never
be the same.

Damn!
If you will let me be
I will try them.
You will see.

Say!
I like to read a fiction book!
How many will fit on my nook?
And I would read all ever wrote!
And I would read them as you gloat!
And I will read them in the rain.
And in the dark with severe eye strain.
And in a car until I get sick.
They are so good, what’s a little ick?

So I will read them at the doctor.
And I will read them while I proctor.
And I will read them in my house.
And I will read them with my spouse.
And I will read them here and there.
Say! I will read them ANYWHERE!

I do so like
to read a book
Now it must be
FICTION
on my nook!