The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 5—The Villain Has to Win Occasionally

(Pensacola, Florida; Sept. 23, 2022,) – The villain has to win, at least occasionally. Creating the perfect villain requires writers to develop them as multifaceted characters with clear motivations, characters who stand in thematic (if not overt) opposition to the hero, but it also requires something else. The villain has to win (at least occasionally) … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 5—The Villain Has to Win Occasionally

The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 4—Thematic Opposition

(Pensacola, Florida; Sept. 16, 2022,) – Killing it with the perfect villain is not an overly difficult challenge, but it does require one to ensure several factors are taken into account when building the character. This series has so far looked at two of the five things I believe make a great villain: characterization and … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 4—Thematic Opposition

The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 3—Motivation

(Pensacola, Florida; Sept. 9, 2022,) – Slaying your audience with the perfect villain is an aspiration all writers aspire to, be they working in print, on stage, or screen. The villain must have the same care given to his/her/its development as your protagonist.  As we move into part 3 of this discussion, let’s look at … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 3—Motivation

The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 2—Characterization

(Pensacola, Florida; August 25, 2022,) – Killing it with the perfect villain is every fiction writer’s dream. All of us dabbling in the realm of fiction yearn to create a villain remembered in that rarified literary firmament along with Darth Vader, Thanos, Lady MacBeth, The White Witch, and the Joker.  Conceptualizing, creating, and crafting such … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 2—Characterization

The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 1

(Pensacola, Florida; August 18, 2022,) – The literary axiom that a hero is only as good as his or her villains is true for a very solid reason. The fact is that your hero is only as good as the villains he or she confronts. The Batman is only but a cosplaying vigilante without the … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Killing it with the Perfect Villain, Part 1

The Writer’s Craft – Stomping Out the Good Idea Fairy

(Pensacola, Florida; July 28, 2022,) – Writers face few challenges as personal and potentially problematic as the Good Idea Fairy prodding our friends to excitedly suggest ‘a great idea’ for our stories. This situation can be explosive for a number of reasons that have little to do with reason, and everything to do with emotion. … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Stomping Out the Good Idea Fairy

Past Exploration – Tracking Marine Corps History on Guam

(Pensacola, Florida; June 30, 2022) – World War II forever shaped the legacy of the Chamorro people and Guam after the Japanese captured the island from U.S. control in 1942. The Japanese occupation was brutal, even reaching heights of such cruelty as a Chamorro death march across the island to relocation camps.  U.S. forces finally … Continue reading Past Exploration – Tracking Marine Corps History on Guam

Mental Health – Tossing Toxic Tails on the Tarmac

(Pensacola, Florida; June 16, 2022) – I threw Alvin out of my house and life only 48 hours into a five-day visit. ‘Alvin’ is not his real name, but we’ll use it here.  I met him in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area back in 2014 when my ex-wife and I first separated.  I was predictably devastated … Continue reading Mental Health – Tossing Toxic Tails on the Tarmac

The Writer’s Craft – Changing with the Times

(Pensacola, Florida; June 2, 2022,) – Characters must change with the times, or else they and their relationships become stagnant structures contemptuously consigned to the compost pile of failed creative ideas. However, as related to my recent column on Keeping Characters Consistent (https://sparks1524.com/2022/04/27/the-writers-craft-keeping-characters-consistent/), the challenge of ensuring your characters stay in character, even as they … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Changing with the Times

On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst

On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst (Pensacola, Florida; April 26, 2022) – The ex-USS Ponce (LPD 15) has arrived at her final berth in Texas at the scrapper’s yard. So, it’s time for another ‘On the Waterfront’ sea story about the Proud Lion and the adventures of her intrepid crew, … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst