PART 1 / PART 2
The canary in the coal mine, or how moral declines.
A child’s heart
Do not kill, lie, steal, or poach another’s mate. Our innate moral code is an early source of guilt, if we go against it. In comparison, the validation of this behavior gives us a good feeling. Since cooperation is the key to survival, not only as a group, a society but as a species, this code is present in all of us. It’s not an exclusively human thing though. There are behavioral trials with dogs, rats, elephants, crows showing that helping another fellow specimen gives these animals euphoria, even if there’s nothing else to gain from this act. There is also evidence of altruism crossing the border of species. (Pics, or it didn’t happen? See here or here.)
Continue reading “The Road to a Place called Evil (2)”
On writing a believable villain
PART 1 / PART 2
“Nobody is the villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes in our own stories.” George R. R. Martin.
In real life, it seems fairly easy to find evil powers. They come in all shapes and colors: remember the bully in your class? Remember the nasty villain in your favorite book? Remember the welcomed scapegoat, when you parked your car in the no-no-place? If not, just open a newspaper, social media or switch on the TV. What do you see? Murder, war, hate, accidents, fear, racism, bigotry… In this frenzy of bad and catastrophic news, one can get the feeling the world is a horrible place, and humans are disgusting.
Now, how does one start to write about all the terrible stuff that’s happening? Dear writer, you start with yourself. What are your experiences? Think about your stories of survival: recall the time you escaped harm, the time you felt in danger, and the time you couldn’t avoid the hurt. Every survivor has his/her own story to tell about the evil they’ve faced.
Linger there and use that as emotional fuel, even if it hurts. Let your raw voice retell the events, bleed them unto the page. This article might help you with that.
Continue reading “The Road to a Place Called Evil (1)”
Fellow writers, read this simple solution. Eureka! This happens to me a lot! Chuck Wendig is a genius.
Continue reading “When the story hits the wall…”
So you made up a character you are fond of? Well done!
Let your character come to life. You know the drill: a face, a body, a CV, a past, jobs, families, friends, past lovers, nick names (cool and nasty ones), pets, favorite drinks, tattoos, scars, allergies and whatnot. The being of the character forms gradually in front of your mind’s eye. Mannerisms give a vivid stroke. Borrow them from people you know, if you must.
Almost there! Your character is fleshed out, but still a bit flat. Facts and habits do not add up to a realistic figure. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. The magic potion to add depths, is labeled – no, not unicorn tears – the character’s emotions. Continue reading “Spiderweb of Understanding, a Puny Guide to Writing Emotions”