Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thursday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: K.M. Weiland

Recently, I stumbled across a discovery: there’s nothing like dynamic antagonists to get readers hooked to a story.

Sure, talking about evil characters can seem a little old-fashioned in today’s literature, which loves flawed protagonists and antagonists with a heart. And there are certainly a few good novels without a real villain. But if your story is falling flat, it may be missing an antagonistic force, something that opposes the protagonist and his goal, and which helps move the plot along in a dynamic way.

More important, still, is this plain truth: writing about dynamic antagonists is fun. Reading about them is even more fun.

How to Draw Inspiration From Fairy Tale Antagonists

If you need more proof of the compelling, memorable nature of villains, think of the stories that have survived throughout time, passed orally from generation to generation before being written down. Fairy tales are so memorable in part because of their frightening villains. Snow White, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and the myriad other tales made famous by the Grimm Brothers, Perrault, and others, all feature villains with a simple, one-dimensional reason for acting the way they do: often it’s jealousy or–in the case of Little Red Riding Hood–hunger. In the end, though, these primal urges are not really important. The villains’ evil nature is the main take-away.

You can read more about story structure in fairy tales, as explained by Kurt Vonnegut, here. While Vonnegut examined other aspects of fairy tales as well, I find that their story structure can really be boiled down to the following.

The Fairy Tale Formula
  • An innocent protagonist.
  • Her all-consuming goal.
  • A villain who thwarts her.

We see the fairy tale recycled in a lot of modern-day story structure.

How to Use Antagonists in the Three-Act Structure

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Read the full article HERE!

If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
  • 10 ways to promote your self-published book – BookBaby
  • Jim Thomsen discusses freelance editing, story craft, favorite authors, and his own authorial aspirations.  
  • 3 Ways to Start Your Novel
  • Why Good Characters Have to Die in Fiction | The Whisper Project
  • Craft Dynamic Antagonists Your Readers Will Love—in Just 3 Steps! - Helping Writers Become Authors
  • How Important is Your Book Title? - Books & Such Literary Management
  • Mia Hopkins: Writer's Workbook: Creating Ethnic Characters Who Don't Suck
  • Writer Unboxed » Know Your Nature, Nurture Your Focus (Multitasking Series, part 5)
  • Each vs. Both Daily Writing Tips
  • Seriously Write: A Thing of the Past: Finding Inspiration from Objects by Susanne Dietze
  • Beta Readers: Facts, Grammar, Plot, Character and More — Fiction Notes
Happy writing and running, Kathy 

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