New Year’s Eve fancy dress party at our local last night – theme: Heroes and Villains. A great night, and good to see lots of the regulars coming up with ingenious costumes, including my other half who was overall winner as Ming the Merciless!
Unsurprisingly, many of the characters chosen came from children’s films/stories. Why? Because as grown ups, we realise that there are few real heroes or villains. In the main, people tend to be a bit of a mix of both, or neither. On occasions we might do an heroic deed, or something mean, selfish or aggressive, but we’re unlikely to be truly heroic or truly evil. People are much more complex than all that, which is what makes writing stories about them so interesting. A deed which might be considered evil in one context might be fully condonable in another. The tale of an ordinary person carrying out a feat of bravery is much more poignant than that of a superhero with special powers carrying out the same feat.
I’ve never been much good at creating “bad guy” characters. It’s hard to imagine someone who’s only motive in life is greed or megalomania (though I concede that such people may exist). I tend to prefer stories where the protagonist’s conflict is internal – where, in effect, they are wrestling with different aspects of themselves – because I think that’s a more realistic reflection of most people’s experience. Nonetheless, I’m not knocking the traditional hero or villain. After all, without them, we’d have no memorable characters to dress up as on New Year’s Eve!
But today is the first day of 2014 – time to pack away the costumes and get back to real life. And time for the dreaded resolutions. If yours is something to do with more regular writing, and yet you’re struggling with ideas or motivation, follow the link below for a simple writing challenge – to properly notice ONE thing every day in January and write about it.
So happy new year, and happy writing – may the words flow freely from your pen in 2014!