Scribe Scrawlings


Two Book Give Away--Contest Ends 10/15/09
Winner Announced: Kayla! See post below for full details!


Melissa Rose

What Do You Listen To When You Write?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Book Of Kells And Other Thoughts

With the loveliness of this new template, I am reminded of the Book of Kells, and thinking perhaps I should nose about and see if I can't find some illuminated accents to fill some spaces, or maybe some ink blots. I'm open to ideas, but like all other magnanimous dictators, I have final say. Hopefully here, there will be less bloodshed when I decide not to listen to you. Ooh, bloodstains. Or even better, wax drops from seals.

Anyway, I did have some less violent thoughts this week, and they centered around a problem I'm having with a villain.

Let me back up a minute though and say that I adore villains, when they aren't the supernatural beings which are damned from the get-go. I think it's because the writers I admire create such multifaceted antagonists, Timothy Zahn really creates wonderful villains that aren't really villains (you want them to win, the poor guys are so earnest and driven, even if that means the universe gets taken over by the darkside(C)or that illegal happyjam(C) runs through the systems forever!) and George Bryan Polivka and Wayne Thomas Batson do the same thing in their books. I find myself rooting for the bad guys, even if that means that people get destroyed and peaceful villages get over run (hey they were in the way, nothing personal) and the hero is drawn and quartered.

Maybe I'm just weird, but I'm beginning to suspect that I'm not alone in my love of villains. Partly, I think it'd due to the fact that you can't ever let the hero or protagonist have a fair shake at things, so the villain's got to be stronger or smarter or have some great advantage over the hero, and to do that and not make it seem over the top, the author's got to really sculpt the villain into an intriguing character. After all the definition of an antagonist is merely someone who is at odds with the protagonist. If you think about it the hero is the villain's antagonist.

Getting back to my problem now, and that is that I write horrible villains. They are wooden and one dimensional and as irritating as Snidely Whiplash(tm) or the bastard prince in Much Ado About Nothing(c). So, taking the advice of Rhu, I am attempting to write some short things from the villain's point of view to better understand them.

Any other advice on how to craft an antagonist with soul (even if it is as black as night) I would gladly take.

1 comment:

Eve said...

For mine, I'm going to show how his past was bad. How he was mistreated and thus turned out so rotten. It fosters some sympathy.

Poll Results

What Do You Notice First About A Book?
RESULTS! Closed 11/11/09

My attention's always grabbed by the cover-53%

I look on the spine for the author's name-6%

The thicker books are the one that grab my notice-26%

I open the book up to the middle and burry my nose in the pages, sniffing. Scent is important-0%

I flip the book over, ignore the cover and the spine and get to the book blurb-13%

Pick Your Weapon! RESULTS! Closed-11/03/09

Hand and Half Sword-16%
Long Bow-25%
Pen-25 %

What Kind of Fan Are You? RESULTS! Closed-10/22/09

Shy. I like reading books but I don't want to meet the authors-15%

Avid. I've read everything my favorite author has written!-38%

Curious. I've e-mailed my favorite author or left comments on the blog and asked them questions-38%

What Kind of Word Smith Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/15/09

I focus on setting-22%
I focus on dialogue-22%
I focus on action-22%
I focus on characters-33%

What Kind of Reader Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/07/09

I try and guess where the story is going to go-44%
I read the book and think how I would have written it differently-0%
I race through the story, riding the words like a rollarcoaster-22%
I race through the book and then go back and read my favorite parts again and again-33%

What Kind of Writer Are You? RESULTS!

Character first--1%
Plot First--4%
Balanced Between Plot and Character--5%
All Over The Place--5%

So All Over The Place and Balanced Between Plot and Character tie for the win! All I can say is that there must be some wicked stories out there. I can't wait to read them!

Scribe is Listening to:


Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian Sound Track.

Books on CD: The Moving Finger Read by Martin Jarvis. Original story by: Agatha Christie

Scribe is Reading:

I am? COOL!

I'm apparently referring to myself in the third person too. Go figure.


Nightmare's Edge by: Bryan Davis

The Invention of Hugo Cabert (Caldecott Book) by: Brian Selzinck-FINISHED. Mind blowing! Every storyteller should read this book.

FEARLESS by: Max Lucado-FINISHED. Excellent!

NLT Chronological 24/7 Bible paperback
NASB Online at Bible Gateway


Psalm 49

Psalm 49
A Psalm of Repentance

About Me

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I tell stories all day long. Some with my pen, some with my keyboard and if you can find me, buy me a coffee and I'll tell you one too!