One of my favorite writing coaches is Steven Pressfield, author of War of Art. His Wednesday blog: Writing Wednesday is consistently worth my time. Today he writes about Elements of a Great Villain, both the external ones and the internal ones in great stories.
“What qualities do these Hall of Fame antagonists have in common?
- They cannot be reasoned with (Okay, the Furies did have a bit of a soft spot).
- They cannot be appealed to on the basis of justice, fair play, or the idea of right and wrong.
- They are internally, relentlessly driven to achieve their ends. Nothing can stop them except their own annihilation.
- Their intention is the destruction of the hero.” (from Steve’s blog today)
How we (the hero and heroine within and without) deal with our real and imagined villains often define our life. Our life is full of Trouble Makers and in essence how we relate to our difficulties is central to our spiritual and creative path.
Villains are part of fiction and nonfiction stories and what, in essence, brings us to the page as writers and readers. We are trying to work something out, or overcome some difficulty, or get our selves and our protagonist out of danger. The danger may be internal or external, likely both, as Steve Pressfield presents in today’s blog.
How we overcome difficulty and relate to our antagonists direct the story of our lives and writing.
I look forward to meeting up with those of you who will be at next week’s Write-By-The-Lake! A favorite week of mine as a writing Sherpa and writer.