Image acquired from the Internet Hive Mind
At the beginning of January I reviewed a book by Liana Brooks. She is one of my favorite authors, and I follow her blog. Back in 2014 she wrote an amazing piece about villains; more precisely how to layer the villains in a story. If you are a writer of mysteries, superhero prose, or other genre where the character has people-type conflict, this blog is an absolute must-read. Her breakdown of the immediate villain, the intermediate villain, and the big bad really helped clarify writing for me.
For Harry Potter the immediate villain was his family (uncle, cousin, etc), the intermediate villain was Professor Snape, and the Big Bad was He-who-should-not-be-named. I never really thought about this formula before so I found this advice really good. … Sometimes formulas are bad because authors follow them mechanically; other times they are a reveal how the masterpiece was created.
You can find the blog post here: http://lianabrooks.blogspot.com/2014/10/nanowrimo-boot-camp-day-3.html.
WRITING EXERCISE: Think about your Work-In-Progress or other story you have read and watched. Is there a the progression of villains within the story? I broke down Harry Potter – what other stories can you think of? Comment below.