Monday, July 23, 2012

Mystery Monday #33: Prompt: Think Like A Bad Guy

It's Mystery Monday! For you regulars here, you know that's when we'll give you a writing prompt. Just in case you needed a little creative kick in the ol' behind.

Today, I want to talk about bad guys. I love a good bad guy--why else does your hero need to save the day, right? But writing a bad guy can be quite the challenge, so here's a prompt for this week:

Write your story from the perspective of your bad guy. Okay, so maybe you don't have to actually write the whole thing, but just imagine the story from his or her perspective for this prompt.

1. What's his motivation? What does he want? Make it so in his eyes, your bad guy (or girl) is totally justified.

2. What would be his happy ending? Think how your bad guy could get what (s)he wants. This happy ending can be a plot point in your story-in-progress: by making things very hard for your hero, you can up the stakes and conflict.

3. What's your bad guy's Achilles Heel? Is he afraid of cockroaches (that would be me...), or of losing his kid? This is ammunition for your hero--try to think of a moment where this weak spot can become a tool.

For more ideas, look at your favorite bad guys. Me, I've been watching Justified lately, and Boyd Crowder makes such great multifaceted bad guy. You can almost see his point of view as a completely valid one. Almost.

How 'bout you? Any favorite bad guys? We'll allow TV, movies or books, since it's Monday.

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