Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bad Guys shouldn't be all bad

I just heard from the editor, and my story "Sand-Skin Man," that appeared in issue #7 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, is going to be podcast pretty soon! My first podcast!

I spent a couple of hours last night making notes for Blood and Taxes--not an outline exactly, although it'll probably morph into one. I've bogged down on the writing; I don't know what's happening next. Or rather, I have an awful lot I want to include, but I'm not sure where everything goes and I haven't figured out who exactly the bad guys are.

Figuring out who the bad guys are is important, because I like to keep it a secret and throw the reader off. These books are like mysteries that way. More importantly, I like to make the reader care about the bad guy--because he/she's a person too, not just the Bad Guy. But if you label who the bad guy is right off, it's harder to make the reader care. Readers are smart. Readers know the bad guy is probably going to die. I want the reader to be confused and upset when the bad guy dies, not "YEAH! He died! Stupid bad guy deserved it."

So anyway, my note-taking consisted mostly of lists. First I made a list of interactions between the main character Ana and various of the other main characters; "Ana and Ash," for instance, is a bulleted list of when and where Ana meets Ash until the climax of the action, with a few jotted notes about what they talk about or do. Now I need to mesh all these lists together into one master list, which will be an outline. Maybe I should have just written an outline to start with, huh?

9 comments:

Catherine J Gardner said...

It's impossible not to love your bad guys.

Congrats on the podcast.

K.C. Shaw said...

Ooh, thanks! I adore my bad guys. I just hate killing them off--but of course that's the way it has to be sometimes.

Aaron Polson said...

Bad guys rule. When we were kids, my best friend and I played "GI Joe" all the time. We always role played on the bad guy side. Always.

Congrats on the podcast! I'm finding audio one of my favorite ways to ingest short fiction these days.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I have heard several interviews with actors and most of them will say that bad guys are way more interesting to play.

K.C. Shaw said...

Aaron--I thought Cobra Commander was the awesomest character in GI Joe! The Joes were sure boring in comparison. Man, I loved that show. It was so corny.

Jamie--I used to have a bad guy collection of action figures. Uh, yeah, that was when I was in my 20's. I'm all grown up now and only have stuffed animals.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

That's awesome, congrats on the podcast!

K.C. Shaw said...

Thanks!

Carrie Harris said...

Yay podcast!

You make lists? Gosh, I feel really disorganized now. If I write something on a post-it, I feel like I've done my prep work.

K.C. Shaw said...

I make lists all the time. That doesn't mean I always follow them. (Mostly I just lose them and try and remember what I wrote, and fail.)