Creating a Worthy Adversary

Author Laurie StevensGuest Post
by Laurie Stevens

One of the questions I get asked in regards to creating characters is “how do you deal with the mindset of a villain?”

Certainly nobody enjoys going to a dark mental place where, we have to assume, a lot of nasty characters reside. Still, if you want to remain true to putting a human face on a villainous character, you have to give him or her a lot of thought.

My wonderful writing mentor Ronald Jacobs always advised me that the best adversaries in a plot are worthy adversaries. In order to make an adversary worthy, there should be a spark of humanity there, a reason why he does what he does. This way, the reader can relate somewhat with the antagonist and interest is created. The more human the villain is, the more impact he has.

Then I had the opportunity to talk with a famed forensic psychiatrist who stunned me with his answer to a question I asked him. Continue reading “Creating a Worthy Adversary”

9 Tips for Writing an Insane Character

tiana warnerGuest Post
by Tiana Warner

Nothing beats a good insane character. They’re unpredictable, obsessive, totally spellbinding … and hard to write. Their arcs and motivations can differ completely from ordinary characters. Saying you’re going to write an insane character, however, is like going to a steakhouse and ordering a beef and a wine. You need to get specific. There are about a million types of crazy.

I spent two years studying some of the best crazy characters in order to understand what works best. I even took a university class on abnormal psychology. (Yeah. I went there.) Through it all, I came up with nine ways to intensify the character. For those of you looking to lose your fictional marbles, let me share what I’ve learned. Continue reading “9 Tips for Writing an Insane Character”