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My problem, when I try to write, is always plot. Prose is easy, characterization is usually not an issue ... but the bugaboo of "So then what HAPPENS?" is always the one that gets me. If/when I start working on my writing in a big way again, this is going to be the big problem area, the way the art is for me now on my comics.

Sometimes the issue is just the antagonist looking over at me and saying, "So what's my motivation?" I am by nature somebody whose natural tendency is to try to be accomodating and reasonable -- both of which are bad traits in a villain! So in my fantasy writing particularly I end up resorting to clichés of the "his dark god has driven him mad and he wants to obliterate the world" variety because anything less than that and my inclination is to have all parties negotiate an amicable settlement.

So I try to think about what people really are willing to kill over: money, power, sex, "us vs. them" (or "our god of brother love instead of theirs") -- all basically non-starters to me, but apparently not to the great throng of humanity. The psychology of my heroes is usually pretty straightforward "live and let live, but the bastards keep attacking me" and that I can get behind ... it's the psychology of the bastards that gives me trouble. And until I can get a handle on that, plot will continue to be a problem.

-The Gneech


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 20th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
When in doubt, resort to psychology. Then take it to the extreme.

What does the villian want to do... Okay, WHY? What's this accomplish for him?

Wizard is set on obliterating the world.


Because he thinks he's good enough in the last moments to catch all the bits and remake it to his whims, with him on top.

Rampaging villanous knight is slaughtering townspeople without mercy.


Well, the sorcerous black blade he carries whispers sweet nothings in his ear and promises him the return of his One True Love (devoured by the blade years ago) if he can find a matching soul to trade for his TL's.

Stuff like that. The drives are almost freudian in nature, and easy to twist down the villanous path as well as the heroic.

Nov. 20th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
> My problem, when I try to write, is always plot

Nov. 20th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
I end up resorting to clichés of the "his dark god has driven him mad and he wants to obliterate the world" variety...

There's nothing wrong with that. Most of the arch-villains in the real world today fit that description perfectly well.
Nov. 20th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
When in doubt, summon the rancor. :P
Nov. 21st, 2006 08:41 am (UTC)
That's a very good point... An outline can usually help in this regard, yupyup ^V^
Nov. 21st, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC)
We have the opposite troubles. I struggle with the prose overall, never seeming to ever put enough detail into anything, for some reason. I feel that the hardest thing I do is characterization. No matter how well I think I know them, getting that across is always so hard to do. But, once I get going, figuring out "What happens next?" seems to work itself out for me.

I simply put my characters in a situation and watch as they start telling me what happens here and what happens there. My villains want what they they want and what they have to do to get it be damned. I think it may have to something to do with the fact that I hardly ever think about what I'm about to do. I just have them do it and work out the why's as I go.

My current villain in my NaNovel is trying to accomplish something I'm not real sure out actually, but I know he thinks it will work out the way he wants it to and his confidence becomes enough for me. So I just keep letting him be confident despite how little I know about what he's expecting to happen.

Think I sort of rambled off topic here, not really putting together a real coherent set of statements, but what the heck. It's said now. -Frisk
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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