Evil takes many forms, we are widely led to believe. Pick up any book and start reading for within those pages, if the story involves any broad spectrum of nastiness, vile activity, or bad guys, you can bet that the author has tried to one-up the standard view of what makes an antagonist function. Evil does take many forms, but for the month of January, I have showcased various forms of nasty weather in the hopes of understanding the factors we read about that bring the antagonist to the forefront of our reading adventures.
I seek answers to what brings the antagonist to life and places them within our favorite books, more importantly, the weather or surrounding circumstances that makes the baddies, well, bad. If you’ve read any book with something bad going on, there’s a “tell” hidden within the pages. Sometimes, foolery or accidental circumstances start the process of evil seeping into our protagonists’ worlds, sometimes greed or madness are the root cause, yet sometimes we are alerted to forces of darkness by subtle descriptions of weather or a sudden change in surroundings.
Storm clouds roll in, evil is coming. Sudden frosty chill along your spine, you better get to running. It all sounds commonplace, but for avid readers and anyone who has watched a scary movie in their entire lifetime, these simple clues allow us to fall head first into the story because we know the feelings, we know the characters in the film or book are about to have a really bad day. Case in point, the remake of Cape Fear (1991), towards the finale we are alerted to the poo figuratively hitting the fan as the calm waters turn violent due to a thunderstorm rapidly approaching. This catalyst works perfectly by alerting the viewers that the intensity has reached critical mass and something is about to break, or someone is about to take one for the home team.
In books, and especially when writing we need to use the weather as a “tell” to draw our readers to the action, the scares, the feelings we are trying to express. Don’t give it all away, but offer little clues that trigger the warning and you’ll set the stage for some fantastic adventures. What drives the force of villainy in your work, what drives you?
These posts will be about showcasing a random picture I find in the hopes of inspiring others to create ideas for their writing. Sometimes I provide the picture and randomly prattle on about something I find interesting, sometimes I do more than my fair share.
I have found that generating a quick 1-3 sentence scenario, a blurb, a scene, or a full novel concept based on a random picture has worked wonders in opening up the floodgates to new ideas and enjoyment in the world of fiction. It is my hope that others will find these images and possibly be inspired to jump into the wild world of writing and become the author they always wanted to be.
Without further ado, our 20th entry!-
Photo Credit- iwona_podlasinska (2016) at https://www.flickr.com/photos/iwonapodlasinska/
The picture today showcases that sense perfectly. The innocence coupled with the sense of doom and gloom allow us to feel that something wicked is coming, something possibly supernatural, angry, deadly. It may not have been meant to achieve this feeling, but it does none the less and is something to consider for your next writing jaunt!