Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Finished my book!

Yep. I did. I finished the short novel, Wild Wild Witch, that I have been posting as I go on Inkitt. Happy dance!

I have a lot of fun with this book. It's a fantasy/western/romance with a little bit of horror thrown in for good measure. I set out to write a romance, and then I was like, "Hey, why not try a little genre blending... I'll make a western, too." Then I thought, "What's a story without fantasy elements? I like fantasy stories the most, so I'd better make it a romance-western-fantasy." And then as I was writing the last chapters the horror just made sense.

This book taught me a few things about my writing.

1) I am incapable of writing anything simple.

2) I seem to be compulsive about things my character does going wrong, as opposed to having a lot of external obstacles get in their way. In my next story, I'm going to try not to do that. Not that I regret anything about this story--I think it all works very well and is entertaining. But I feel like if this is my pattern I have to try to push myself outside of it. It comes from an anxiety that introducing external obstacles will somehow feel contrived. I'm not sure where this anxiety comes from.

3) I want to work on creating more layered villains. My two major villains in this book are hate sinks. I realized as I was writing Witch that I really am not instinctively interested in my villains in and of themselves, other than as hate sinks. I am very interested in my protagonists and supporting characters, but on some level the fact that my villains are villains makes me dislike them and I don't want to spend much time on them other than to make them hate-worthy. Which isn't to say I've never written layered villains--I have. I think Reister is interesting (more so than Finnarun, who falls more into hate sink territory again) and I don't even really consider Liut a villain despite what he does. But I think they developed into interesting villains not because I planned them that way but because the story called for it, if that makes sense. With my next villain(s) I will take time to really plan and try to give them redeeming qualities that make them more complex.

Who are some of your favorite villains in novels, films, and TV? Are they hate sinks, or more complex?

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