The Insecure Writers Support Group is a marvellous group set up by Alex Cavanagh. On the first Wednesday of every month, members post thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.
The link above takes you to details about the group and how to join. You’ll also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge – do check them out.
This month’s question – Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?
I’ve only ever written from the perspective of the hero, I’ve not tried writing from the bad guy’s perspective. In my co-written piece which is told from multiple PoVs, I did suggest including our villain, but we decided that adding another voice to those of the four main characters would be one too many in what was intended to be only 26k of words (it ended up being 45k, but that’s another story!)
Why did I make that suggestion? Not because I fancied trying something new, rather that I felt it could add to the storytelling. I didn’t push it for a couple of reasons; first and foremost, as co-authors we’d fallen into the practice of going along those paths we both agreed upon, allowing sources of not immediate agreement to fall by the wayside. This was of particular import as time was very much of the essence – we were writing it during the A-Z Challenge. Second, I’d previously read Marlon James’s Booker-winning “A Brief History of Seven Killings” which is quite the tale. The grim subject, casual violence and mysogny aside, I’d rated it at only 4 out of 5 stars because I felt he’d massively overused the number of PoVs and was at odds to make sure I didn’t fall into the same trap.
But, the more I think about it, the more I want to write from the villain’s perspective. Would I be able to make him truly unredeemably bad? I’m not sure. With my background in psychology, I suspect I’d be more inclined to offer up a backstory as to why he behaved in such a manner. Mind you, I imagine there would be a certain degree of fun in writing a pure out-and-out baddie, if difficult to avoid it ending up too slapstick.
Either way, I’m itching to give it a try!
How about you my fellow #IWSG-ers? If you write from the villain’s perspective – do you have any advice to give me in my new quest?
© Debra Carey, 2019