Q&A (and brownies) with J.J. Murray discussion

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message 1: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments How effective are you are writing enemies for your main characters? Do you treat you bad characters as well as your good ones? How do you fight the bias of character you don't personally like?


message 2: by J.J. (last edited May 12, 2010 07:59PM) (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
For my 2012 title, I scripted the verbal fight between my heroine and her boss before I wrote many of the events leading up to it. It's a humdinger. I knew how important it would be to the reader, so I wrote it first. I had so much fun creating the evil, um, not-so-nice-person, but then I realized that no one in real life is evil all of the time. I gave her several redeeming qualities. Hey, I felt sorry for her because I knew she was gonna get lit up by page 300.

They are not opposites. There just happens to be more good in my heroine than in her boss. And guess what? My heroine finds herself sponging some of her boss's less-than-stellar qualities, and at one point in the "fight," the reader won't be able to tell the difference between the two.


message 3: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments Well in some of my stories I have characters that are antagonists for my characters, and during the course of the story peace will be made.Some stories where antagonists are ultimate evil and plan to destroy the world as we know it; they are definite enemies.
Depending on the type of story, the antagonist or opposition cannot be all evil (I agree with J.J.there).
How important are their motives? As writers of the story do we explore them as much as we do the main characters?


message 4: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (last edited May 13, 2010 11:10AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 68 comments I love showing shades of gray in my stories. I try to make the villain come to life, so that you will get involved and when he gets defeated, you'll feel strongly. You may feel strong hate for him, but they are human enough that you don't write him off as cardboard. I love stories where you sort of fall in love with the villain a little. Or at least love to hate. There is a series I love where the big villain was recently killed. I was sad, b/c he was such a good villain.

I like dramatic, action-oriented stories, so I do use the hero/villain motif. But, more importantly, I love antiheroes, so my heroes can be pretty dark themselves.

For my character-oriented sweet romances, I try not to rely on having the 'bad girl' or 'bad guy' who is the counterpart for the heroine or hero. I usually like to have more of an internal struggle dynamic.


message 5: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I started to think about antagonists or enemy characters when I had trouble dealing with motivation for my main characters.


message 6: by Guitar Chick (new)

Guitar Chick (GuitarChick) | 20 comments I think villian writing is a quality I need to work on. The two stories I'm writing that will have villians have not yet gotten to that bit yet.


message 7: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I agree with GC;creating bad characters is an art. I want mine to be maintain the suspension of belief in my story. I also understand Danielle's antihero fan-worship. It is why batman is as popular as superman. However I do think it is another avenue of writing be done to death. That and the not-so-pretty heroine snagging the super hot hero.


message 8: by Guitar Chick (new)

Guitar Chick (GuitarChick) | 20 comments Yeah. Exactly.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 68 comments Say it isn't so, Jo! The antihero never goes out of style!


message 10: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Say it isn't so, Jo! The antihero never goes out of style!"

Girl Please! I didn't say it was out of style; done to death or near death. I can't hate the anti-hero or his counter part the anti-heroine. I would have to chuck half of my stories.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 68 comments (Wipes forehead) You scared me for a second!!!


message 12: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I think it reflects our society. No one is born a magnificent hero but if something bad goes down,the hope is that the average John will do what is right.


message 14: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I wanted to be an anthropologist once


message 15: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
And I ... a librarian. Really. I took one of those vocational tests in high school, and it spit out: "Librarian" and "Museum Curator."

By the way, every writer is an anthropologist at heart. We examine the species. Sometimes we find it lacking, and other times we find it heroic.

But mostly we find it ridiculously funny! (Speaking for myself, of course).


message 16: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments Yes, Stranger than fiction.


message 17: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I find myself in situations that would drive the batman's joker crazier.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 68 comments I wanted to be a daredevil wildlife vet growing up. I also wanted to be an artist.


message 19: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments So Danielle are you an animal planet fan as well.


message 20: by Mimi (new)

Mimi Tremont | 53 comments Believe it or not, I always want to be an author or an artist.


message 21: by Naomi (new)

Naomi James (goodreadscomNaomi_James) | 54 comments I don't know what it's called, but I wanted to be the lady in the circus spinning high above the crowd with that loop around the back of my neck. Something about that was always so cool and graceful to me...dangerous as heck, but cool.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 68 comments Actually, I don't watch it much. It makes me kind of sad to see the wildlife, b/c I think of how fast they are going extinct.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 68 comments Naomi, would she be an Acrobat?


message 24: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments Wow talk about topic digression.
I try to be PC about the environment and everything. But I don't want to be a vegan.

I knew someone who actually lived worked in a circus, not as sparkly and happy as one would think.


message 25: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
To recap this thread so far:

A good enemy/nemesis to develop in a story would be an anti-hero anthropologist and part-time museum curator who dreams of being a circus performer.

Kind of like Indiana Jones, huh?

:)


message 27: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments I know but does this anti-hero anthropologist and part-time museum curator have a librarian sidekick or enemy.


message 28: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Murray (JohnJMurray) | 250 comments Mod
S/he has a dog named Sparky and an attack cat named Snuffles. No sidekick necessary.


message 29: by JC (new)

JC (ainathiel) | 331 comments that sounds a little dresden-esque.


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