Create the Villain Your Hero Needs: Superb Infographic from David “Villain” Villalva

3 Ways to Create a Villain Who Audiences Want & Heroes Need [Infographic]David Villalva is a story nerd like me. Smart, friendly, smart, generous, and smart.

He created this superb infographic to explain how to create your story’s villain, and why doing it like this matters. Click to make it big.

Gathering Structural Support

I’m gathering resources to create some kind of structure checklist for my writing and wanted to share 3 useful lists and concepts I’ve encountered the past week.

structural support

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Hero Empathy (Story Engineering and Physics #10 of 12)

Part of a series of posts on story engineering based on the book of that title and its companion volume Story Physics.

Story Engineering & Story PhysicsWe get hung up on the word “hero” and make inaccurate assumptions about what that means. As a result, some writers (and writing teachers) assume a hero must be heroic; a hero must be likable; a hero has to be the good guy.

If that works for your story, super. We can all root for a heroic likable good guy, can’t we?

And that’s the point: the reader has to root for them to achieve their goal, or we’re all wasting our time.

We’re rewatching the entire TV series Lie to Me. Cal Lightman (brilliantly portrayed by Tim Roth) is not heroic. He makes mistakes, needs a team to get the job done, and bases his drive on a negative experience. He’s not likable, that’s for sure. An arrogant jerk, a manipulative chronic liar, he’s impossible to get close to. Okay, he’s the good guy, in the big picture. But in any give scene, he might be the one you want to kick in the ankle. Or worse.

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The First Plot Point (#3 of 12 Sentences)

#3 First Plot Point

#3 of only 12 sentences you need to define your entire novel.

25% of the way into your novel is the First Plot Point, where your hero realizes they’re on a journey, whether they like it or not.

Watch a television drama. About 15 minutes in, something happens just before they cut to the commercial which tells you exactly what the show is going to be about. The main character learns something that makes their path for the next 45 obvious and unavoidable.

That moment is the First Plot Point.

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