Saturday, June 06, 2015

Dry Run: Update 8

So, I have now introduced my antagonist, and it's nice to have finally reached this point.  As I previously mentioned, there's a pretty good chunk of the story dedicated to asking the question: Who (or what) is the bad guy in this tale?  And I worried (and still do, just a lil bit) that the answer to that question is too long in coming.

But now that it's here, it's fun to write my bad guy, and though I intended to have the character speak in a very unusual way,* I discovered that it slows me down quite a bit, every time I get to a line of dialogue.  I always want it to sound absolutely perfect, and that's gonna be a real chore.  It reminds me of the times I've written for Darth Vader or The Emperor.  They have such distinctive voices and cadences that you can't just give them normal dialogue (there was a bit of that at the beginning of STAR WARS, but by the time you get to "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed..." it's already the pseudo-poetic way of talking Vader would have in both EMPIRE and JEDI ("Perhaps you feel you are being treated unfairly?  Good, it would be unfortunately if I had to leave a garrison here." "You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander.  I'm here to put you back on schedule.  The Emperor does not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation.").

One other interesting quandary about my bad guy is: how bad do I have to make him before the reader wishes him dead?  Many times in movies, they'll have the bad guy slap a woman, or be cruel to a character we like, or use the one F-word in your PG-13, and that stuff, sorry kiddies, is horseshit.  We're big boys and girls, we don't need to be manipulated in such an obvious manner.  The worst, though, and I'm beginning to think that it really is the absolute worst, is when the villain is about to meet their/fall to their death and the hero tries to help them, only to have the villain try one last time to kill them, thus making it okay that they are allowed to die.  We've seen it time and time and time and time again (I almost wanna say I saw it in AVENGERS 2), and it absolutely has to stop.

No, what I want is the hero to realize he has to kill the bad guy, not because of some dastardly thing he does (or threatens to do), but simply because he is evil, and evil needs to be snuffed out.  After all, it's the Old West, and movies have taught me that an Old West sheriff can pretty much do whatever he likes, in order to keep his town safe.

You probably know what solution I came up with, since asking myself the above question: just write the dang thing the way I feel it should be written, knowing I can go back in and have a bit more mustache-twirling from my bad guy (who I named after my one-time best friend, not because I now despise him or consider him villainous, but because the name is a cool one) if he's not evil enough.  Hopefully, my gut is right on this.  It's no fun to second-guess yourself.

Well, it's no fun for me, anyway.

So, here's our progress today:

8119 of 25000.  That's not bad, really.  I mean, it's not GOOD, considering I was supposed to be finished by now, but it's not a terrible number.  A third.  And way more than half if I was better at typing up my progress.

I need to buckle down hard and do what I said I was going to do.  I need to become a man before all this is through.  Sorry that rhymed.


*Big suggested I have the bad guy speak in iambic pentameter.  A brilliant suggestion, except that it would guarantee my story would be finished about three weeks after the Apocalypse.

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