Friday, January 14, 2011

Good vs. Evil: The age old conflict in storytelling.

No one likes characters who are perfect because they can’t relate to them and it diminishes the element of suspense. I’ve made authors do rewrites when they’ve created a perfect character without flaws, weakness, fears, or quirks. Superman had his kryptonite and for Frodo in LOTR he was na├»ve and had the burden of a ring that was a disembodied presence of evil and temptation.

For the heroes of the story there is always a journey, mission or task they must accomplish to over come the villain. As the hero makes their journey through life they are given opportunities to learn and be tested in small ways before they face the villain.

On a heroes journey in a story there will be a tutor, someone who will help guide and set an example as hero prepares to defeat the villain. Luke had Obi One Kenobi and Harry Potter had Dumbledore.

The villain in a story is not always a person. Your hero can face the villain of temptation, illness, addiction or financial crisis.

In a romantic comedy your villain could be awkward, humorous or frustrating situations that keep your hero and heroine from meeting each other.

What ever your villain is let the reader know what’s at stake, show conflict and danger, and most importantly show how your hero grows as they prepare and face the villain.


  1. These are awesome reminders... I jotted them down as a reference. Thanks! :)

  2. Good points! I knew everyone's take on this would be different.

  3. Excellent post. I think many times the hero has more than one helper.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  4. Hi Deirdra! Great post! I love how you said that a perfect character is difficult to connect with--even a villain can be perfect in his evilness if he isn't given a flaw. I enjoy villains with flaws as well as heros. I SO agree with you.



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