Monday, June 10, 2013

Villains! My Evil Plan is Working

I just attended the annual  WVWriter's Convention over the weekend.

Workshops, meeting writers face to face and learning. That is what I like about writers' conferences. At a lot of the workshops they have you write. They will give you a prompt and then a few minutes to write. They say, "after all this is a writing conference and this is why you came here."

Well, that is not exactly true for me. I write all the time. When I am not writing, I am thinking about what I am going to write. And . . . I am not good at writing on the spur of the moment with only a few minutes to think about what I am going to write.

I like to spend my conference time learning, brainstorming, finding out more about getting published, finding out what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong, etc.

I attended a workshop out of my genre.

My Evil Plan is Working! Creating Believable Villains that Readers Secretly Love and Love to Hate.

I don't usually have villains in my children's stories. But what the heck, there is always a first time.

I learned a few interesting tidbits of information:

Think about what caused your character to become a villain.

Villains think they are right. Villains have a special skill. Villains are sure of themselves.
Villains are intelligent.

Reveal info about your villain early on.

If you have a villain, of course, you must have a hero.

Your hero is always challenged by the villain. The hero also has a special skill to help defeat the villain. Your hero is also intelligent, but usually in a different way and he might not use his intelligence until later on in the story to defeat the villain. The hero is usually full of doubt, but he will overcome this doubt as the story progresses.

Insert a twist into your story.

Start your story with something tragic.

These are just a few ideas my brain absorbed from this workshop.

I think I can use these ideas in my writing for children. My characters can have special skills, be intelligent and have to overcome something in their life (villain) to achieve their goal. My story can start with something tragic (but not too tragic) and a  twist is always good to have in your story.

My mind is whirling with ideas now on how to use this info with some of the stories I am currently working on.

Oh, and by the way, it is always fun and inspiring to win!

I placed in the WVWriter's annual spring writing contest. I got 2nd in the children's category with my nonfiction PB, Grasshoppers! Woo hoo! I did a happy dance. A MG I submitted received 1st Honorable Mention. Maybe I can use some of the above info to bump up my MG a notch (or two)!

What do you like about conventions?

What do you suggest to bump up a manuscript a notch or two.

Posted byJanet Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch. 


  1. Great villains are understandable to the readers, I think. Like Voldemort. You totally 'get' him, even if he made the wrong choices.

  2. I haven't been to a writing convention yet, but I'd love to attend one sometime.

  3. I love the shot in the arm that conferences give. Glad you had a great time!


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