Wednesday, March 6, 2019

IWSG: “G versus E”

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for March is an awesome one! “Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?” My answer: BOTH! And the “Why” is why I’m a writer. 


The whole Good v Evil dichotomy is what attracts me to any story, whether it be on television, the big screen, on my Kindle, or my computer. The pull between protagonist and antagonist is where the rubber meets the road, where both sides have to take a stand based upon what they believe/desire, and their decisions will format the rest of their lives (and the story). I like to put a touch of good/bad in all my characters to give them a richer dimension (stereotypical white hat wearing heroes and mustache twirling villains are boring!). That struggle within themselves, and which ultimately wins out, is what gives heft to any tale.

Frankly, villains give a writer much more creative leeway because they don’t have to play by the rules of conduct and social acceptance. My favorite “villain” quote came from actor Rutger Hauer who stated a truly terrifying killer is a charmer, attractive evil being much more frightening than the obvious. Ted Bundy or Andrew Cunanan ring a bell? I immediately want to know what makes them tick and what turned them into who they became.

I confess, some of my heroes/heroines are often flawed to a point almost beyond redemption (or at least they think they are!). I love dark, tormented characters. Their struggle away from that tempting, destructive edge makes a compelling internal/external arc and page-turning conflict and growth. Some of my antagonists have gone from villain in one book to the hero of their own story. And don’t get me started on anti-heroes – those John Wicks or Clint Eastwood characters you can’t help but root for. Wrongs can be done for a righteous reason just as good deeds can open dark doorways. The fluidity between those things is where the true hero’s journey begins, and the would-be good guy falls by the wayside. The stronger the villain, the higher the stakes. Redemption is a big theme with me. The more flawed the hero, the more he has to struggle against the darkness both within and without. And the twists and turns of POV and storyline to find that right balance is why I can’t wait to get to the keyboard!

How about you?


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the March 6th posting of the IWSG will be Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

17 comments:

  1. Totally agree, Nancy! Most heroes no longer ride in on a white horse - they are no longer instantly recognizable, and I love that. And villains are more adept at hiding behind a beautiful disguise as you mentioned in reference to Rutger Hauer - who stated a truly terrifying killer is a charmer, attractive evil being much more frightening than the obvious. This is what makes a villain truly terrifying to me. And right now, that's the man stalking my wip. I hope I can pull it off.
    Great post as always, Nancy!

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    1. Don't let that villain get the best of you, Sandra! You'll do fine -just keep two steps ahead of him!

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  2. Too right. Complexity is paramount for characters to not be flat and typical. We all have the darkness and light within us, which is why I think we're drawn to those type of characters in our fiction, or nonfiction. No one is perfect and we all want to see how others handle that battle within. Great post!

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  3. I love flawed heroes and heroines.

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    1. Perfect is hard to identify with. We all can empathize with imperfection.

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  4. I've been thinking about this. Maybe I like writing villain material because somewhere deep inside I want to attack the weaknesses of my protag. I mean that is harsh, but maybe that is me. :)

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    1. The challenge is what make that hero stronger. Keep it up. They'll thank you for it!

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  5. A perfect hero isn't that interesting. If they're already perfect, where's their personality arc? Although I don't write tortured heroes like you do, Nancy, I admire how you drag them into the depths of despair only to redeem them. Keep doing it!

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  6. Great answer. And very true. It's not always just about an external goal. Internal improvement is just as important in a story.

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    1. Exactly! Growth is a positive direction for the hero, toward darkness for the villain.

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  7. Well said, Nancy! I enjoy that internal struggle between good and evil. I always wonder what darkness lurks beneath a heroic surface. Have a good one!

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    1. There's always something, one of those deadly sins just waiting to be provoked by an intrepid author. Muwahahaha!

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  8. Agree. You said so well. It is the good vs evil that attracts me too but had not thought it out like that. Enjoyed reading. Happy IWSG!

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  9. We secretly love to see other fail, struggle and rise so it gives us hope that we can be the heroes/heroines of our own story.

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  10. I'm a very dumb bunny and didn't realize that there was a monthly question. I always did my posts for this blog hop in advance. I guess I'll have to stop doing that and start reading the question!

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