I’m really close to finishing my first book!
Well, sort of.
I have run into a bout of writer’s block and I finally realized what the problem is. I don’t want to make my bad guy bad.
I’ve been reading all sorts of blogs and books and I know this is a common rookie mistake. My first pass at this book had the antagonist simply being another good guy who had conflicting interests with my hero. Specifically, he wanted my heroin too.
Oh, and his mission was to destroy my hero’s trade.
But still, my Mr. Bad was actually another Mister Good. He decided he had to wed the heroine, against her will, to protect her reputation, even though he didn’t actually love her. He was a stuck up, stiff character akin to Daniel Day Lewis’ role as the fiance of Helena Bonham Carter in A Room With A View. He was honorable and a decorated naval officer. He was the farthest thing from bad that an antagonist could get.
But I know how to learn from other people’s mistakes and I’ve read the warning enough times to know my Mr. Not So Right will not do. So I had to go back and re-work the entire book to create a proper bad guy. A bad guy who we will all want to hate. Oh sure, he’ll have some redeeming qualities, but I now know I can’t make him so good that it becomes confusing who the hero of the story actually is.
And so, I’ve set the tone. I’ve modified the plot to prepare for his incorporation. I know what he’s going to do and how he’ll do it. I’m ready to write the chapter where he meets the heroine. She was supposed to meet him in the previous chapter, but I chickened out and ended the sequence with her on her way to meet him.
Why won’t it come? Why can’t I simply type out on the computer this man who will attempt to destroy the livelihood and happiness of my beloved heroes?
Last night lying in bed it, hit me. I can’t create unlovable characters. No, I suppose I can. I am just loathe to release villainy into the atmosphere. I want to adore anything I make. I need fairy tale happy endings and I hate conflict. So the bad guys just won’t come.
Anyone got any ideas on how to get inspired to create the blackness of evil?