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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


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.

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