BookPlotFilter: how to determine a villain for a story?
July 7, 2014 5:55 PM Subscribe
So I've been pecking away at a book for a while, encountering the typical novice writer issue of not getting past 100 pages or so before things start to stall. Can you help me figure out who my heroes will do battle with?
posted by PussKillian to Writing & Language (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Note: I have no real aspirations towards being a published author - this is mostly just for fun. I write, but I don't think I'm a writer because I'm not very disciplined!)
I like what I have so far but plotting is a struggle. I have a main character and a situation I've placed her in, and have surrounded her with people, and there are internal tensions to explore, but I'm struggling to key on on my external tensions. Basically, I need an official baddie and I don't know how to settle on one even though I know what role I want them to play in the story.
My book is set in contemporary Rome, with magic and werewolves, and the baddies need to be attempting to erase the city due to old grudges (rewriting it so that it never became powerful, for example). The question is, which old enemies of Rome might suit? My first choice was Carthaginians, but I also like the idea of it being a villain from one of Rome's many wacky imperial families. (I investigated Livia for the purpose and came away loving her more than I realized I did - I may have to try and build her in as a heroine or something.)
The Etruscans are a possibility, I suppose - I would have to do more research because I don't know enough about them beyond some tomb sculpture. Germanic tribes, ditto.
So are there any specific figures or groups that could serve as antagonists to my poor, beleaguered Roman werewolves? I'd love to hear any suggestions or directions where I could target my research. I'd also be fine with pointers for structuring plot. As my fanfic has proved, I can write decent moments where characters connect emotionally, but I struggle with plot structure unless the story happens to appear mostly fully-formed in my brain at the beginning.