reasons to not quit writing:
your writing is a skill, not an inborn talent (unless, yeah, maybe it is). not everyone can do what you do and love
everyone says they want to write a book. everyone has what it takes to write a book. not everyone does it anyway. you be the small percentage of success you read about
your writing will always seem brickshit horrible because you wrote and read it a million times
you love this writing thingy. quitting it will be like cutting off your fingers one by one.
someone out there will want to read what you wrote.
someone out there wants to know what is on your mind.
someone out there appreciates your art. they will share it with their friends. they will share it with their loved ones. they will share it with their future self because maybe what you wrote saved them.
if you give up now, you know you will just come back to it again, whether it’s years from now, months, or next week. you love writing, that’s why you planted the seed of thought that you are going to write this book, and whether you come back to it or not, your unwritten stories will come back to you.
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Writing Tip #9
Constructing great villains;
Expanding on "Every villian is the hero of their own story" can be a bit difficult to put to words, and can be misunderstood quite easily. A lot of people may see that sentence and feel like their villian has to have some kind of tragic backstory that makes the character sympathetic to the reader.
That's not entirely true.
What this sentence actually means, is that your villians are people too. They're not, nor should they be, cardboard cutouts of some one-sided stereotype. They should have their own goals and motivations. They should have desires and wants, same as any other individual. At the end of the day, they all have to shit and eat, just like everyone else. Granted, sometimes people are just bad, but they still have basics. They have reasons for doing things, even if we don't understand those reasons. The majority of them feel justified in their reasoning.
"Because I felt like it." Is a valid reason. Imagine not being able to feel anything. No emotion. No happiness, joy, love, hate, envy, satisfaction. Nothing. Then you discover that by doing this one thing, you can FEEL. It's heady. It's intoxicating. It's a fucking rush. Adrenaline pumps in your veins for that first time, and you can feel excitement. It's so strong you become aroused by it. Suddenly, the need to take the same action again, just to feel,something, becomes inescapable. Over and over, you seek out those feelings. However, like any drug, you eventually become numb to the dose. It requires taking bigger, more extreme actions just to get that same rush from before.
"I don't know why." Is also a valid reason. This time imagine that you once were able to feel emotions. You experienced the whole spectrum of human emotion, but, over time, those feelings started to fade away. You can no longer empathize, or sympathize with anyone. You're numb and there's nothing that can fix it. You start doing reckless and dangerous things, just because none of it seems to matter anymore. You hurt yourself, you hurt others, you destroy everything you touch. Why? Because nothing feels real anymore. Nothing matters. It's pointless. No matter what you do, everything will keep going on just the same. Day after day, after day, after day.
The above examples are extreme cases, but they do show that everyone has motivations. Whether it be just to feel something, or just to prove something to yourself.
Your villian can think that they're in the right. This is a valid villain as well. They believe that whatever the means, they're justified so long as they can reach their end goal. That's what makes them so dangerous to your protagonist. Both of these characters think they're in the right. They will fight tooth and nail against each other just to try and prove their point. This can cause your characters to become very morally ambiguous. Especially if the villain causes your protagonist to throw all of their beliefs into question. The villain can use their own past experiences, draw upon their own private pain, and use it to manipulate, twist around, and torture your protagonist.
There are many different types of villain, and they can all be very real threats to your hero. To construct the best villain for your story, it really comes down to a few basic questions.
What message are you trying to convey with your story?
· Construct a villain that is the antithesis to your overall message/theme. However, remember to keep them human. Give them flaws. Just like your protagonist. (Like the Borg were to STNG. They were driven to assimilate as many species as they could,in effort of achieving perfection, but they also had flaws that could be exploited. They were also the antithesis to The Federations Primary Objective.)
At what point did your villain become evil?
·There's a turning point for everyone. A moment that triggers them to act a certain way. It can even be a series of events, known as stressors, that eventually cause you villain to embrace the darkness within them. (Seymour from Final Fantasy is a good example of a tragic backstory if you need one.)
What are your villains ethics, or moral values?
· Villains are complicated, just like your protagonist. They can have codes of honor and ethics. They might be vile, but they never harm children, for example. They might make families a no touch zone. Or they might tale the rule of law to the extreme, and take it upon themselves to act as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. (Example; Alexander Pierce from the Marvel Universe. In an effort to create a Utopia, he killed, maimed, and tortured indiscriminately to try and reach that goal. Or, Light Yagami from Death Note, for you anime fans out there. )
What are your villain's positive attributes?
· Just like your protagonist, they have both flaws and good wrapped up into one. This makes them relatable to the reader. Maybe they love animals, and fly off the handle when they see one hurt. Maybe they despise bullies and will step in to defend a kid against one. Maybe they volunteer at a homeless shelter. The choices are limitless.
Do you want your villain to be redeemable?
· Decide if you eventually want your villain character to become a good guy. If you do want them to be a good guy, don't let them do things that are unforgivable. Like killing, or otherwise hurting kids. Or genocide. There are somethings that no matter what that character does to try and redeem themselves, they'll never be able to come back from. (Strangely enough, killing a few adults seems to be forgivable. Looking at you Arrow.) If not, Umbridge away.
These are just a few things to ask yourself and think about when crafting your villain. This is not, by any means, a definitive guide. Hopefully, however, it will get you started on creating a realistic, and truly threatening villain for your story.
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