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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Motivation Applies to Villains Too

Currently reading - Insatiable by Meg Cabot

How many times have you heard about Goal, Motivation and Conflict as it applies to your hero/heroine?  A dozen.  A hundred.  A couple of thousand.  (If you haven't read Deb Dixon's Goal, Motivation & Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction, I strongly suggest you beg, borrow or buy a copy.  Like now.  For reasonable prices, check out http://www.gryphonbooksforwriters.com/)

GMC applies to villains as well.  Doctor Evil didn't just wake up one morning and decide to be evil.  (Okay, in Mike Meyers' world, he probably did, but roll with me on this one.)

In little scene in the first Austin Powers movie where Dr. Evil and his son Scott attend father-son group therapy, Dr. Evil lays out a pretty horrendous childhood where he's abandoned by his parents.  Even Scott wants nothing to do with him.  Constant rejection is the catalyst that send Dr. Evil into his downward spiral of "I'm going to screw you over before you screw me over."  Not even Frau Farbissina's love can save him because he can't recognize it.

And ultimately, he hates Austin Powers because everyone gives Austin the love Dr. Evil believes he's owed.

The antagonist of your story must have his own GMC.  Otherwise he becomes another two-dimensional cookie cutter villain.  Take a look at your ms.  Does the villain's GMC make sense?  If it doesn't, pretend you're his therapist and have a long talk with him.

Preferably not in public where the guys with the nice white coats can find you.

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