Tag: writer

I'm a Writer

 Debut author Edwin Hill’s recent post https://careerauthors.com/how-to-call-yourself-a-writer/ on Career Authors about his 39-year excursion before he could finally say, “I’m a writer” touched me. What writer hasn’t felt trepidation when saying those words for fear she might be challenged. “Really? How dare you say you’re a writer?”             Those three little words, “I’m a writer,” are as terrifying as crossing the line from, “I like you,” to “I love you” in a relationship. Both connote declaration and commitment and put the declarant at risk for rejection. That’s why knowing when you were ready to say to the world, “I’m a writer” is pivotal to being a writer.             When I was a child, I wondered about the people who put the magical words on the books I read over and over, but it didn’t occur to me I could become one of them until I had already joined two other professions. After a contentious term on my local planning board, where I witnessed greed, anger, and exploitation, I decided to purge the toxicity I had experienced by penning my first mystery. I sent Who Killed the Board of Selectmen to five agents and editors in the early nineties. I had a kind […]

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What makes a good villain?

I hate serial killers, and not just because they murder people indiscriminately–though that’s bad. I hate them because I don’t find them interesting. Uniformly, they have a vaguely disturbed childhood or mental illness that spurs them on a bloody spree. They are as much victims of circumstance, in some ways, as their actual victims; just as unable to control their evil fate.  The best villains, in my opinion, have more varied motives. They kill one person because a combination of threats to their livelihood, sense of self, or personal safety made them act violently. Then, they kill more people to cover up the initial killing.  That’s what made Walter White in Breaking Bad such a great villain. His back was against the wall and he made an immoral choice that promised easy money. Then, he made another and another until he was scarface with chemicals instead of coke.    

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