March 21st, 2012

Leafy Oregano

Go Ahead — Write This Story: Villains get all the fun

Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) enjoys playing bad guys. Many actors do. Villains do things, they want things, they voice opinions, they make plans. They're fun and interesting. Heroes become boring when they wait for evil and then have no goal in life other than defeating it. Don't wait for evil. Decide what your hero wants, how deeply she wants it, and how far she'll go to get it. Can she grow? What actions will she take? Who might her decisions threaten or offend? Make your hero fun and interesting. If you need an idea for a story, here's a few.

• This is a horror story about a sadistic telephone hotline counselor who tries to ruin the lives of hotline callers.

• This is a story about an alien spy disguised as a presidential campaign reporter who gets discovered by the candidate. Given this year's crop of candidates, this could be real fun.

• This is a story about a father arranging a marriage for his son, but not telling the would-be bride about the family's curse. It's time for a kick-ass heroine.

— Sue Burke