Thinking of writing about bad guys, I started wondering what makes them so bad. One thing which comes to mind is that there is something socially unacceptable about him, something which makes her stand out in a crowd, something not quite “normal.” Another thing is the element of surprise, as in, he seemed so regular, or you thought she was your friend, a person just like you, until… Most importantly (HUGE flares go up for winning the top villain reason), there’s conflict. And conflict gives birth to emotion. A story without conflict will put you to sleep. Life without conflict is boring — although those of us with plenty of conflict in our lives fantasize how lovely it would be without any.
Writing challenge: Name your top three real-life villains. Or think of just one.
Two stipulations: 1) They have to be real people and 2) You have to personally have had contact with him/her; so it can’t be a Satan incarnate taking over the world type.
Name not the person, but why they rank so high on your list of despicables.
Scariest book I ever read was, The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
Killed an estimated 40 women – actual number unknown.
He is the only person who was executed in Florida who did not have anyone praying, or protesting his execution.
Yikes, Bette! You had personal contact with Ted Bundy?! Very scary, indeed.
My personal contact (one several I can think of) was of the man who followed me on a deserted, one-lane, snow-drifted street. Because of the narrow road, I plunged through the snow on the sidewalk. I first heard the car, which had slowed to my walk, coming from behind me. There was no place for him to park, no drives to pull into. And then I turned to look at the driver. I’ll NEVER forget those penetrating eyes, staring a few yards from me. He didn’t speak, just stared. I stopped. He stopped. I started walking. He crept forward, driving. A car came up behind him. He had to move. When he did, I dashed to my apartment a few doors down, shivering alone for hours, wondering if he made it around the block in time to know which building I dashed into.
There. My real, unnamed person, with whom I had personal contact. And now I won’t be able to sleep tonight! Who came up with this?
HA! My friend, Jaclyn (check out her blog from my blogroll on the right side), just posted about villians and heroines. And she ought to know what makes good bad and good guys. Whenever I read her stories, I have to have someone in the house with me, and be reading during the daylight hours. I get chills just thinking about creepy Mel.