Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Columbia II Writers Workshop

This week I'm the guest blogger on the Columbia II Writers Workshop blogspot, which features the work of member writers. "A Good Villain" is about putting a sinner instead of a hero in the spotlight as protagonist.

How can a reader be charmed by a character who does bad things? Imperfection is one thing, but stupidity is something else. We can't expect a reader to find a hairbrained character endearing. The humanity in each of us, regardless of how flawed we are, is a source for tugging at a reader's sympathy.

On the other hand, we can ignore sympathy and work on the reader's curiosity. What will our bad guy/gal do next? And how bad will it be? When I was reading Palace Walk by Naguib Mafouz, I could hardly wait from chapter to chapter to find out how much I could dislike the protagonist as-Sayyid Ahmad. It was a fascinating trip into my own emotional capacity for loathing somebody.
Ginny Padgett

The Columbia II Writers Workshop, which publishes weekly, is organized by the chapter's moderator Ginny Padgett with help from a review committee headed by Kasie Whitener and Mike Long. My thanks to them for supporting us local writers.

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