Feeling Sorry For The Bad Guy

For a while now, I have thought I have a twisted brain. I watch movies – and feel bad for the villain. There must be something wrong with me. Of course, I know, a villain is a villain, and all the evil in the story is coming from that end. I know, and I agree, there must be punishment. But my nature keeps considering if there wouldn’t be a ‘better’ punishment than the one they were going through…

Let me explain what I mean by providing you with a few examples:

Movie – Van Helsing

We have one ‘villain’ in that movie that my heart was bleeding for. Prince Velkan, brother to Princess Anna, was turned into a Werewolf to be used for the vampire Dracula’s dark and evil purposes. The Prince didn’t have a chance. He was shot by Van Helsing’s silver bullet and died in his sister’s arms in sunlight when he was turned back into a man.

I know, that Werewolf followed Dracula’s orders, plundered, scared, injured, and killed people! He did, what his Werewolf nature made him do.

But none of that was his fault. He was tortured by Dracula’s servant, hit, abused, hurt, injured, and had to give in to dark magic malpractice. And still, there was no happy ending for him. He died. Wasn’t that worth a few tears?


Movie – The Witches Of Eastwick

We all know him: Daryl Van Horne, bewitching three single women in the small town of Eastwick, Alexandra, Sukie, and Jane. He walks into their world and shakes up their lives. The affair between the four of them ends up in a possessive, controlling relationship that threatens to destroy the happy ‘foursome’, the population of Eastwick, and in particular, the friendship between the three women. In self-defense, Alex, Sukie, and Jane pick up the dark stranger’s dangerous magic and turn it against him in the hope of making him leave and disappear out of their lives as he had shown up. Unfortunately, his powers are far stronger than theirs, and in the process, their former ‘little devil’ shows his true face… the one of the big devil. And he fights back. With the help of a wax-doll and a kitchen fire, the three women manage to win the fight, which ends up in their opponent’s disappearance after he had melted from an over-dimensional monster into a gnarled little ridiculous caricature of himself. The big epic ‘battle’ ends with that slowly spinning, odd little gnome disappearing with a quiet ‘pop’ into nowhere, leaving back only a few sparkles. I had a lot of fun watching these scenes for the longest time, but still, I felt that tiny sting of regret to see the mighty antagonist being exposed to ridicule. I cannot explain it. I have been laughed about too often not to confuse ‘a simple joke’ with malicious exposure to ridicule, apparently even if it’s the one of a villain.


Movie – Beetlejuice

Most of us know the movie. Beetlejuice, who ‘helps’ dead people do whatever necessary to make them comfortable in their afterlife. Of course, he only helps others to gain access to the world of the living. In the movie, it’s the Maitlands he sends advertisements to, calling himself a bio-exorcist. The Maitlands are recently deceased and don’t know anything about the complicated bureaucracy in the afterlife. Desperately trying to get the new owners out of their house, they meet Lydia, the daughter. Finally, Beetlejuice is freed, only to, of course, turn everything upside-down and try to use Lydia for his advantage. In the end, Beetlejuice is sent back to the afterlife, and in the waiting room, he enrages a powerful medicine man who turns him into a shrunken head. Of course, I know how selfish and obnoxious Beetlejuice is. (By the way: what a phenomenal acting performance, Michael Keaton!). But still, I think, in this case, I ‘suffer’ from the same feeling as I do in the former example. I feel sorry for the shrunken head. It’s, in a way, so funny, but also, it’s ridiculous; and ‘poor’ Beetlejuice now has to go through eternity like that, with everyone laughing about him? I feel bad for him, and I’m not sure why…


Movie – Pride & Prejudice

Now, in Pride and Prejudice, I picked Fitzwilliam Darcy’s two proposals mainly. In the 2005 movie, the first one set up in the rain, Elizabeth Bennet rejects him mentioning his arrogance, the destruction of her sister Jane’s growing love connection to his friend Bingley, and his contempt towards Mr. Wickham. Of course, at this point, she doesn’t know the entire truth; she only believes she knows it. Elizabeth overheard Mr. Darcy talking to his friend Bingley at a ball and hurting Elizabeth’s feelings and pride. She had never even taken his timidity and the pressure and high expectations of his family and society into consideration. Without knowing him, she yells his flaws into his face and lets him stand in the rain. Having hurt Elizabeth’s feelings by saying she was ‘barely tolerable, and not beautiful enough to tempt him’ was indeed no masterstroke on Darcy’s side. Still, he didn’t know she was listening. Does that make him a ‘villain’? No, I don’t think it does. Why is he still in this blog? Well, I detested his behavior towards Elizabeth, her sister Jane, and their family (and I’m not saying he wasn’t right!). However, I still somewhat cringe to see him standing there embarrassing himself, drowning in arrogance, smug self-importance, and rainwater. Yes, for a moment, I felt the tiniest string of malicious glee. And still, I felt terrible for him. Elizabeth’s words got him off his high horse, and he was lucky not to break his neck, figuratively spoken. The following events in the movie revealed quite some truth to Elizabeth and also changed Mr. Darcy. He, the second time, carefully considered his words to propose to Elizabeth… and she accepted. ‘Changing the villain’? Maybe, in a way, even though I still wouldn’t use the expression ‘villain’ in connections with Fitzwilliam Darcy’s name. Everyone knows the bad one in this story is Wickham… and a very young, foolish sister called Lydia.


Movie – The Mummy returns

I admit, the Mummy and the Mummy Returns are a couple of my favorite movies, and if I want to be entertained without thinking much, I turn them on. Here we have Imhotep, High Priest of a Pharaoh of the old Egyptian empire, who desired the Pharaoh’s lover, Anck-sun-amun. When the Pharaoh finds out about the affair, he has them both ‘eliminated,’ together with Imhotep’s priests. Imhotep himself was killed with the most horrible of all curses, the ‘Homdai.’ Unfortunately, tomb raiders, under the seal of archeology, find the sarcophagus and bring the High Priest back into the world. All Imhotep tries to do is getting his lover, Anck-sun-amun, back. He kills some of his grave robbers by ‘sucking them dry’ to re-create himself. He brings the old Egyptian plagues back to the world and tries to kidnap Evie, who, together with Rick, tries to get Imhotep back to his grave. That plot is absolutely sufficient for two movies. In the first movie, Evie and Rick fall in love with each other; they’re married and have a son in the second one. Of course, there is a lot of magic involved, re-incarnation, and humor. And then, towards the end of the second movie, ‘The Mummy Returns,’ things get really sad for Imhotep. Remember, we watched two films in which the re-incarnated Mummy kills at will, bewitches groups of people, uses his power to kidnap, torture, scare people, and even steal a child to bring back his ancient lover. For three thousand years, he had loved her. Even in his death and eternity, he never forgot her, and finally, she’s here, with him. He did, what he had to do, what he always wanted! And then the world is crumbling around them. The temple they’re in starts to collapse. He and Rick are held by the Underworld when the ceiling starts to crash. Even though Rick yells at his wife to get out, save herself, Evie doesn’t listen. Under the highest risk of her own life, she crosses the falling temple and throws herself to the ground to pull the love of her life out of the Underworld’s claws. Imhotep has to watch the horror to see his worst opponent being saved, and he desperately calls his only love: “Anck-sun-amun! Help me!” And that selfish, shallow, dumb chick screams ‘No!!” turns around and runs for her life… (Of course, she gets what she deserves only a few seconds later, but that’s only a detail.). What’s far more significant is the immeasurable disappointment in Imhotep’s face when he finds out that his love was far more extensive than hers and that the woman he fought for has shamefully let him down. After a last look at his enemies, he surrenders and lets himself fall backward to disappear forever, where he once raised from. That disappointment, the horror on Imhotep’s face, when the truth dawned on him, that’s what made me almost cry. I know he had murdered and pillaged… and still, I feel sorry for him. What’s wrong with me?


Do you ever feel bad for a villain? Do you feel odd when you see punishments for the bad? What story is it? Tell us about it in the comments!

7 Tips to Balancing the Humor and the Heavy – Written By Charles Yallowitz

I like to included humor in my stories.  Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as comedies.  I like to touch on heavy topics in my stories.  Yet, I don’t want them to be seen as serious dramas.  That means I need to have both and keep things balanced.  That isn’t nearly as easy as some people believe.  You can’t throw the two around whenever you feel like it in the hopes of creating an equilibrium.  Humor and heavy can clash like battling titans instead of uniting like pieces of a puzzle.  So, what are some ways to handle this?

  1. Whichever one is going to be the main tone of the story should be introduced from the beginning.  If you want to have a serious story with humorous sections and conversations then you need to set the heavy stage.  If it’s supposed to be a comedic tale that moves into serious territory then start with the funny.  You do have a runway to work with since the opening is more character and world introduction, so the tone may be neutral first.  Eventually, you need to decide on who gets the bigger slice of pizza.

CONTINUE READING HERE

The Best Fiction Story Ideas Come From A Simple Question – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines informs us on his blog about the fact that the best fiction story ideas come from one simple question. Thanks so much, Derek!


on Just Publishing Advice:

If you are writing fiction novels or short stories, you need story ideas.

Nothing happens on a blank page, and looking at it is the worst way to start writing.

A lot of writers use creative writing prompts, but they aren’t the best way to come up with original ideas.

Some writers wait for the muse to arrive, which usually works on a very unreliable schedule.

In This Article

Fiction story idea germs

Famous authors and small ideas
Ask yourself simple questions
Avoid writing prompts
Summary

Continue reading HERE

An Hour Of Relaxed Reading

For the first time since I moved, I felt the need for an hour of relaxed reading.  In my former home, I had a deep enjoyable bathtub which I filled up with wonderfully warm water and bubble bath and spent an hour or 90 minutes in the tub, reading an amazing book.

I prepared everything for another relaxing hour today, book, glasses, scented candle, water…

I was looking forward to the tub and the reading… until I realized, the tub was far too small for me. It might be good for a bath after being dirty and muddy… but it definitely is not comfortable enough to read in… not five minutes, not even three minutes…

That means, I will have to read somewhere else than in the tub – or I move into a home with a big corner-tub.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Do you ever read in the bathtub? If yes, how long are you staying? How much do you enjoy? Do you read your e-reader or do you prefer regular paperbacks? Let us hear about your reading preferences in the comments. We are curious.

 

Does Everyone Really Love A Bad Boy? – Written By Charles Yallowitz

On ‘The Legends of Windermere’ blog, written by Charles Yallowitz, I found this excellent blog post about bad boys and how they really are used. Thanks for the great post, which I think to me is quite helpful, Charles.


A while back, somebody suggested I write a few posts on the ‘Bad Boy’ concept. I agreed thinking it shouldn’t be too hard. Now, I’m sitting here trying to figure out what I was thinking. Seriously, this feels like it’s outside of my ballpark because ‘Bad Boy’s in my mind don’t really appear outside of romances and dramas. Then again, I’m using a very narrow definition. Let me try to enhance it by some stream of consciousness writing.

Continue reading here

Author Spotlight – Alethea Kehas

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I was a closet writer for most of my life. When I was a child and teen I would journal my thoughts, dreams, and other musings. Then, I would rip them up and throw them away so no one could see them.

2. What motivates you to write?

When I wrote my first book, my memoir, my motivation was to heal myself. Now, I write to help others heal and find their inner truths.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. At the moment, my focus is on my visionary fantasy series written for the middle-grade to adult audience.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I did have a dream, a few years ago where I found myself on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show (which I confess I don’t watch) with Elizabeth Gilbert. That’s always lingering in the back of my mind, but seriously, my main goal is for my writing to reach the eyes of those who might benefit from my words.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Not so much writer’s block as writer’s motivation. When I give myself time sit down and open myself up to the stories that want to come forth, they most often make their way onto the page without too much difficulty. I let my characters take over and discover from them, which means I sometimes have to do my research after I write the words. It makes the process fun and exciting, giving up the reins, so to speak. It’s like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle without ever looking at the picture on the box cover.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Write from the heart. Open yourself up to the stories tucked inside of you and write what wants to come forth. The rest can be figured out later.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

I have two published books so far, a memoir called A Girl Named Truth and the first book in my visionary fantasy series, The Labyrinth. My memoir is a journey of healing my truth and reuniting with my estranged father. The Labyrinth is book 1 in the Warriors of Light series and is part of a larger endeavor of empowering youth to find and embrace their inner gifts and truths through a metaphysical adventure with six shapeshifting teens who are tasked to repair the broken lines of light in Earth. There is a companion website, warriorsoflight.club, and a monthly newsletter that allows kids and teens to deepen their exploration of self and life, while finding a safe and open community to be their authentic selves. I am starting to take it out into the word through workshops and events and hope to add some interactive games to the website in the future.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Alethea Bio:

Alethea Kehas is the author of A Girl Named Truth and The Labyrinth. She has an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College and is the owner of Inner Truth Healing & Yoga. Once a year she follows her heart to the ancient lands of Albion and listens to the stories of the stones.


Connect with Alethea:

Author website: https://aletheakehas.com/
Warriors of Light Club website: https://warriorsoflight.club/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AletheaKehasAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/warriorsoflightclub/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Aletheakehas/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@AletheaKehas
Blog: https://nottomatoes.wordpress.com/


Alethea’s Books:

The Labyrinth: https://www.amazon.com/Labyrinth-Warriors-Light-Alethea-Kehas/dp/0692123571/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532298501&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Labyrinth+by+Alethea+Kehas

 

 

 

A Girl Named Truth: https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Named-Truth-Alethea-Kehas/dp/0692921575/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505436573&sr=8-1&keywords=a+girl+named+truth

When Someone Has Already Written Your Book

Evie Gaughan writes about story ideas and that they might already have been written. Thank you for your very interesting and informative post, Evie!

Evie Gaughan

book_of_rose_flower_pink_soft_nature_hd-wallpaper-1562660‘There is no such thing as a new idea’, Mark Twain once wrote. Which is bad news for anyone trying to be original! But as he goes on to say, we can create new and endless numbers of new combinations. Still, what if you find that you keep coming up with ideas that have already been done? I’m reading a charming little book at the moment, ‘How To Fall In Love With A Man Who Lives In A Bush’, (quite easily, it seems, apparently Austrian men aren’t up to much) where the protagonist dreams of becoming an author. The only problem is that every story she comes up with has already been written …. by Charlotte Bronte or Stephen King!

It’s something of an occupational hazard for storytellers – even when it comes to choosing a title for your book. A quick search on Google will reveal that your…

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Author Spotlight Ari Meghlen

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

Firstly, thank you so much for having me on your blog.

I’ve been writing since I was given unsupervised access to pens. 🙂 I believe it was around the age of 8 years old. I loved making up stories and a teacher gave us an assignment to describe a friendly monster under the bed. I wrote not only a description but a story about him. And I haven’t stopped writing since 🙂

2. What motivates you to write?

I don’t really need motivation to write. It’s just what I was born to do. I am forever caught by scenes, character or plots that just fill my head until I need to get them down. It’s like writing relieves pressure in my mind and gives space to all the new ideas slipping in.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write Preternatural Urban Fantasy, more traditional Fantasy though I’ve also written sci-fi and some crime as well as Police Procedural stories. I have always been drawn to fantasy and sci-fi. It’s what I love to read and watch as movies. But I never like being tied to just one genre. Mainly because the ideas I get stretch over multiple genres.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

My dream is to write full-time. I don’t care for great success or wealth (the latter would be nice if it happened). I just want to do what I love full-time.

I would love to see my work published, but I have no interest in rushing that just to see something I wrote in print. I have a specific level I want to get my writing to before I publish.

I want someone to read my stories and escape within my worlds, to connect with my characters and the ultimate… would be for someone to love my characters the way I love my favourite author’s characters.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I call it Creative Constipation and yes, I’ve suffered badly. I will often take a step back from writing as it can come on due to burn-out. I will watch movies in the same genre I am currently writing and when I’m ready to go back, I will do writing exercises.

This usually involves trawling the internet for random photos or pictures and then writing about them. It can be something as simple as just literally writing out exactly what I see in the photo, to describing a mood, coming up with what happens next etc. I think of it like greasing the wheels in my head.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Advice? Let’s see:

1 – Never refer to yourself as “aspiring”. If you write, you’re a writer. Own it.

2 – Writing is hard but that’s okay. It’s awesome and worth it, but don’t think it’s a cake-walk because it’s not.

3 – Never stop writing – there will be a lot of people who want to tear you down. This can even include friends and family. If you want to write, then let nothing stop you.

4 – Work at it. Writing gets better with practice. Don’t just write something fast and publish. There is already too much rough, unedited, barely-polished stuff out there. Take pride in your work and make it the best it can be. Better that it takes time and be great, than you rush and it be lacking.

5 – Learn to take criticism. It’s hard and we all hate it. But suck it up, Buttercup it’s part of the process. Learn to distinguish between good, solid critiquing and random, unhelpful criticism. Don’t lash out when someone offers feedback. Take a breath, step back and see what they say. They might just help your story grow. And remember, in the end, you’re the writer – you don’t have to use the feedback if you really don’t want to.

6 – Lastly, understand that if you want to be a writer and sell your work, that there is a business side to it. So, start early and learn about things like networking, marketing, branding etc. The more you learn the better position you will be in.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

My Preternatural Urban Fantasy is in it’s 2nd draft and with my Alpha Reader at the moment.

I am currently working on a new, more traditional fantasy set in a world called Ly’rium. The first book focuses mostly on Thea, one of the long-living Imorie. Having been kept hidden in her family estate for years, she is finally reaching the age where she can take control of her own life.

However, that freedom is suddenly snatched away when she marked as a Potential. Now Thea is forced to fulfil a gruelling, mentally and physically-challenging trial to test her inner power. If she passes, she will become one of the Blessed. If not, her mind will broken in the maelstrom leaving her a shell of herself.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Connect with Ari:

Website – https://arimeghlen.co.uk/
Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/writerarimeghlen/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AriMeghlen
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ari_meghlen/

7 Tips for Naming Your Characters

J Young-Ju Harris has published an interesting blog post about how to name your characters. I think this comes in handy at times. Thank you for this article!

J. Young-Ju Harris

namingtipsheader

Naming characters is an important part of character creation. It determines how your characters will be known moving forward. Some people find this aspect of the character creation phase to be very easy or mostly intuitive. For those of you who don’t, here are some of my suggestions on how to go about coming up with names for your story’s cast.

1.) Differentiate Your Names

My cardinal rule for naming characters is making sure that none of the names look similar on the page. Having characters with names that appear similar can either cause the reader to slow down to make sure they know who is taking action, or, worse, it can cause the reader to become confused and lose the thread of what’s going on.

I actually think that J.R.R. Tolkien made this mistake when he named his villains Sauron and Saruman. If you’re reading quickly, the two names…

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The Tree (A ghost story Part 4)

Part 4 of the “interactive” ghost story. Use the link to connect to F. E. Feeley’s blog and tell him how you like the story to continue!

F.E.Feeley Jr

ghost

Okay, so this is it. Part 4 of The Tree. This is the point where you THE READER start to tell me what you think of the story and where you think it should go.  Remember, if your suggestion is chosen, I will send you a free copy of the book in whatever format it comes out in.  Without further ado….

The Tree

Chapter 4

“Who’s all going to be there?” Erik asked as he turned down his sister’s radio. Currently, Adele was lamenting about when she had been young. His sister was pointing at cars they drove passed and singing at them off-key to make Erik laugh.  And he chuckled a couple of times, but his sister’s usually pristine singing voice was cracking and pitching like an old rusty door and it was making Erik nervous.

“Just him and his brothers, I think. I didn’t ask. Why?” She looked…

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