Thursday, November 14, 2013

Villains are people too

by Maria Geraci

Last night I attended my local writing group. It's composed of 8 or so lovely ladies, all of whom write very different things (I'm the only one writing romance). We have a group leader who's very smart. Very savvy. Terrific editor and terrific teacher. So we sit down to eat and I discover our topic is villains. Or in my case, antagonists, since I primarily write romantic comedy and I don't have a typical "villain" per se.

So, we're discussing what makes a terrific villain and although I know all this stuff (or have heard all this stuff before) it suddenly occurs to me that the reason I'm having a bit of sticky time with my current work-in-progress is that the antagonist who creates trouble in the last half of my book isn't completely fleshed out. I mean, what does she want really? Other than to cause trouble for my heroine? What are her hopes and dreams, her strengths and weaknesses? Until I discover that, she'll just be a cartoon character. Which means, back to the laptop for me.

Then I get home and I get a text message from my oldest daughter. Guess who's getting her own movie? Maleficent! Oldest Daughter's favorite Disney flick was (and still is) Sleeping Beauty. But she was terrified of Maleficent. Now that's she an adult we joke about it all the time.

So I text her back, Wait. The movie is called Maleficent? Shouldn't it be called Sleeping Beauty?

Nope, she answers, because the story is told from Maleficent's point of view. And she's being played by Angelina Jolie.

I think the Universe is speaking to me.

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