♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the
hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? Why?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Admitting which side of the protagonist/antagonist fence one prefers to write on is a matter of ego. In that case, it can be a trip to the dark side. We all like to think the best of ourselves. It’s important that we do. Otherwise, we risk suffering depression and thus illness that can be exacerbated by negative mental attitudes. Having a positive self-image isn’t a bad thing! Just like anything else, engaging to excess can be a problem.
Exploring my spiritual awareness and improving myself has led me on many introverted explorations. Writing on the dark side has allowed me to see that side of myself that many would prefer to keep secret and unknown (even to themselves). Facing the inner self is fraught with ego threatening pitfalls. Personal growth, however, requires a good long look. It’s easier to say don’t be afraid than to actually not have fear of who or what you really are down to the core.
Human emotions and desires can be quite scary. Finding horrors within ourselves can cause existential crisis, too. But, I’m going to say, there is a way to engage with it on a level that isn’t so frightening and is productive for personal growth: writing. Perhaps, that is why we authors write?
When I’m writing, I love to explore those emotions and feelings I feel foreign and horrific. Of course, that’s easiest in the role of villain. I’d recommend trying to apply the unseemly to the protagonist, though. You know, the one the reader is to identify with most closely. Yes, this creates an anti-hero, which, Lord knows, is overdone to the gills. But, if writing is your outlet, and you feel that there are as yet unexplored elements in such a role–you must still try.
Writing books isn’t just about creating a product for consumption for others. The author engages with writing because they have a need to create a communication. To tell a story is to have a conversation about things that don’t pass in every day conversations. They have no place in chit-chat. Novels and stories explore difficult topics in the human condition, often posing questions (if not answers) to some great questions. They help us to learn to empathize. Stories communicate commonalities. A novel could explain the horrific in detail that makes it understandable (not acceptable but understood).
The ugly feelings and wants that humanity often holds in the dark are safely let out within writing, too. Have you ever been so angry you just want to beat the hell out of someone? I’m sure it was around something very serious that truly upset you. Those feelings have to have a place to go. Why not write them into a character and let them act out on the page? Did you know that exercises in imagination can be very cathartic and provide closure for your mind? The brain can accept a trip through a mind exercise as good as reality.
When writing my villains, the catharsis I seek is seeing justice in the end. They’re often unrepentant, as one review mentioned of the father in OP-DEC. This is because I have never found people who are abusive to be honest about it. My other books focus on paranormal figures, such as Demons, so penitent devils don’t make much sense either. I write them exactly as they should be, in my opinion, and that is consummately evil.
The point of writing villains so fixedly is that they also present archetypes to the reader and myself. For instance, Morgentus is a baron of hell, while Dominic is a narcissistic human. One presents an archetype. The other is more fluid, but still dark. One can write the deepest and darkest into an archetype of hell, while a more fluid villain that is closer to an average human can contain the more nuanced aspects. The latter is harder to write. It’s more uncertain, more sympathetic. It’s upsetting to write an abuser as a sympathetic character, especially when it comes from past experiences. This can feel like making excuses for the person instead of appropriately placing responsibility upon them.
I did not like writing Dominic because of the sympathetic aspect of the character. I didn’t exactly love writing the demons either. There’s always that part of me, the child sitting in the Episcopal pew, worried about what it might dredge up from the shadows. I still know that exploring these thoughts is helpful to uncovering my whole self. Do we fundamentally reject this darkness because it scares us or because we know it is part of us? How much a part of us?
We can all get ugly from time to time, especially in the worst situations. If anyone ever harmed my child, for instance, I would snap. I feel that fear deep in my gut. Doesn’t every mother? Regardless, it shows me that I am capable of scary extremes under the right stress. That part of me is easiest to explore in the guise of a villain. And although I don’t like it, I find it more necessary to my growth than writing the hero (which I feel just strokes the ego).
Click on the links below to find out which way the authors below like to write best…