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?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Villians, Neer Do Wells, Bad Guys, Misguided Individuals Part 2

Crawl inside a villain, try one on for fit, wear one out in public, it won't hurt a bit!
Listen to one's heartbeat, hear one sigh at night, poor misguided guy, he never wins the fight!

Okay tarbs* I'm back as promised with part 2 on the black hats!

I'm sure you've heard it in some movie---a whiny actor asks the director "What's my motivation?"---and most people roll their eyes or worse because it's such a cliche'. It's not as irritating a question as it might seem, motivation is important.

As Christians we are to examine the motives of our heart (what moves it to act) and to see if they line up with the Bible. As writers we have to examine the motives of our characters(what moves them to act) and see if they line up with their roles. The best motives for villains are pulled from the darker side of human nature. Here's a short list.


Consider a character who is rounding whole families up and putting them in ghettos, dividing them from the rest of the population of their country.

That's the action, now what's the motive behind it?
Easiest way to figure that out, because the reader is going to be doing the same thing, is to ask why are they doing that action?

-it could be that they have a personal grudge against this people group. Motive-Wrath

-it could be that they wanted the land these people were occupying. Motive-Greed or Envy

-it could be that by putting the people in the area they hope to have one of them discover the area's secret. Motive-Sloth

-it could be that they think these people are ruining the city with their low class ways and so move them to one quarter where they will not be seen. Motive-Pride.

Right so you get the idea, nail down the motive behind the actions and it will help you flush out the character of the antagonist. By the way, this works with the protagonist too. But this, this is the flaw or the broken part of the villain that is buried way down deep inside, tomorrow I'll go into what you wrap around that to make the core of your bad guy.

* take the 's' away and read it back to front. ;) You know who you are.

No comments:

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!