Monday, July 16, 2012

Everyone's Secret Fav...Evil Characters

Photo by
Janet Beasley
Just stickin' my nose in to see what you're up to

Hello everyone! So great to see you here.
Regular blog posts are still appearing on Mondays - but with a little bit of a twist. 

If you haven't gotten your copy yet, 

Due to the enormous success we have had with Maycly - I need to get busy on the next 5 read right...5 more novels! For this reason, every Monday we're going to head to the archives and the postings will be some of the coolest and most helpful blog posts I made throughout 2011 and early 2012. This will allow me the much time needed to let my creativity run wild and write, and write, and write. ;-)

Not to worry, I'm not abandoning my fans - I'll still be at your fingertips through comments here on the blog, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and other social media. 

So, without any further ado - welcome to the past!

Original Post Date
4 / 25 / 11

Hello fans! So glad you chose to stop by this week and check out the blog. If this is your first week...welcome on board, we're ever so glad to have you along for the ride. I hope you find the JLB Creatives Blog to be fun for the whole family!

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Good Guys or Villains

     Epic fantasies, westerns, romance novels, mysteries, crime novels...almost every kind of fictional story presents the reader with good guys and bad guys.

     For most of us writers, fluffing up the good guys and making them the "star" of the story comes easy. But what if the writer wants his or her protagonist to be a villain? How do writers (who haven't delved deep into the lairs of or lived within the realms of corruption, haven't experienced truly twisted minds, and/or participated in immoral situations...just to name a few) develop a bad guy character so well, he or she becomes the "star" for whom readers are interested in cheering? 

     First let's discuss the type of evil I'm referring to. I'm not looking for the typical bad guy who turns good in the end and saves the day, or the good guy who does bad things because he feels they're justifiable. I'm talking about evil characters who are patient, bad guys who thrive on developing new ways to destroy or kill, evil people who's eyes are empty and have no life, the ones who live each day filling their wretched minds with sickening thoughts because there is no good left in them. I've heard there are some stories (few and far between) where the really truly bad guy actually remains evil and becomes the "hero" figure.

     Have you ever been watching a movie and all of a sudden realize you're cheering for the villain, and you think to yourself, What is wrong with me? That bad guy is doing everything I wouldn' why am I rooting for him? Think about a book you may have read or movie you may have seen where the evil character might have simply walked away at the end and you didn't get a sequel that revealed or showed them being caught and brought to justice. This is the character development to which I am referring.   

     So how do writers do it? I myself have not tried to do such - but I have caught myself watching movies and cheering for the "wrong" guy, or reading a story and falling for the really awful guy, and found myself asking How in the world did they get me to do that? From my time spent as an author, I believe it would not an easy task to develop a bad guy everyone falls in love with. Because most of us believe we are "good" people, and because of the fact when we hear bizarre things on the news and sit with our mouths hanging open in disgust, it's tough to even imagine there's an audience for such.

     Only giving my opinion on the matter, I would have to say writers have their job cut out for them if they're going to create a tight connection between his or her readers and a heroic scumbag. It has to be a connection that is so "worthy" the readers eventually feel so comfortable with what the bad guy is doing, they'll end up cheering for HIM instead of the good guy. Is this impossible? I would definitely answer, no. There are so many talented writers in this world, it would be foolish to call any type story impossible.

     I believe the success of an evil protagonist could sometimes lean toward causing readers to become sympathetic for the evil character, as we all know human heartstrings can easily be tugged - and I'm only speaking from experience. Other times readers and movie goers may be so sick of watching the good guys win they'd just like to read or see something different happen in the end - this could lean in the writer's favor, but really, that's a hit or miss target audience...depending on the day someone's having or the mood they're in. Perhaps developing an evil protagonist can be done easier if the writer makes it "non-human." For instance, a beast from another world, an alien, or even a living stone.

     For me, it was challenging enough to create an evil character (who was not my protagonist), his evil dwelling, his sickening cohorts, and their evil way, that I'm not certain I'll ever be up to the challenge of creating a true evil protagonist - but notice I never said never. ;-) 

     If there are any successful evil protagonist development specialists out there, please chime in and let us know how you go about creating the "monsters" we sometimes have come to love. 

 Never be afraid to dive into 
your dreams

     We all love sunsets. When we take the time to stop and watch, it's amazing all of the colors, light, and shadowing that passes before our eyes. 

     Sunsets are one of my most favorite things to much so, I wanted to share my photos with the world so I created an app on Facebook using some of my best. 

     OK, OK, maybe I "endorse" this link (since they're my photos) and I don't get gobs of money from it. But I do get the joy of knowing so many people out there are putting a smile on their friends faces around the world just by sending them one of my sunsets. 

     If you're into those kind of things...just click on the photograph below and it will take you there.

     This week we learned that developing a loveable bad guy isn't the easiest task. We also learned what a protagonist is, and how they fit into our stories.

     The comment game is all about who you favor - good guys or bad guys. So, to play the comment game all you have to do is type "BOOOOOOO" if you're a villain lover. Or type the word "YAY!" if you're for the good guys. 

    And last but not least...we discovered an app where sunsets can be sent to friends and family around the world. 
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     Again - I can't thank you guys enough for your participation, support, encouragement and shared enthusiasm regarding the novel. You guys totally rock!

Until next week - 
Hang loose and stay casual!
Your writin' picture takin' fool...

JLB Creatives

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JLB Creatives Blog Hosts
JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)