5 Traits of the Sympathetic Villain

Writing Good Villain

If you’ve seen the Daredevil TV series, you’d know how multi-dimensional and sympathetic their villains are. Aside from the obvious example of primary antagonist Wilson Fisk, whose portrayal in both the comics and small screen is nothing short of emotionally complex, the TV series bring us Vladimir Ranskahov, who is one of the more memorable secondary villains in recent years.

Here’s five traits of the sympathetic villain.

Despite being the more cantankerous and trigger-happy half of the Ranskahov brothers, I understood his motives and raison d’être much better than I did Fisk’s, whose evil deeds were largely conducted from the shadows. Continue reading

The Ending REALLY Matters

Our overall impressions of a book, film, TV show, or event are more shaped by how we felt about the ending than anything else. It’s faulty, but it’s true. What does this mean for writers?

After reading Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, I’m looking at my Long-Suffering Manuscript with new eyes. The science makes a compelling case for placing more importance on crafting a great ending, but I think having a consistent quality throughout the book’s narrative makes more sense.  Continue reading

We Need More Non-White Protagonists In Fiction

Beverly Katz

The Katz at work.

I will always remember what my business professor said once during a unit on leadership. He was an award-winning academic of Indian descent, yet when he envisioned an accomplished leader, it was not himself who he saw, but a “tall white man in a sleek suit”.

“I had achieved everything that man had,” my professor said. “But I still cannot see myself up on that podium.”

I had the same problem when writing. For the past two years since I started working on my Long-Suffering Manuscript, I had trouble visualizing my main character Natasha Moor, who is made of many parts, but mainly of me, who is Chinese-Canadian, as someone who is not white. Continue reading

Writing on the Weekend is a Bad Idea

Millie Ho

As if coffee is going to wake you up.

I bet you’re a lot like me.

You have a day job. You have friends and hobbies and maybe even a family to support. But you’re also doing this Writing A Book thing, prompted by nobody and nothing aside from your own unbridled ambition (and a touch of grandiosity) to make your mark on the world by telling a story that matters.

So you write. You write throughout the week, before work, before the neighbours blast their obnoxious Top 40 playlists, before the clock strikes midnight and sometimes a little while after.

But then you moved. Then your mother fell ill. Then you took on new projects that demanded more of your time.

Suddenly you can’t write everyday anymore. Continue reading