Sunday, September 13, 2015

Writing Prompt: The Evil Hero

Think of one of your favorite fictional heroes or heroines, not necessarily a superhero — lord knows we've seen plenty of those these days — but a favorite heroic character. You could choose Beowulf, Albus Dumbledore, Miss Marple, Katniss Everdeen, or, of course, your favorite spandex-wearing comic book character. Whatever. (This might be a good moment to consider what the word heroic means to you.)

Anyway, once you've got your hero or heroine in mind, make them evil and then write them into a story. What happens when the good guys turn to the dark side? Who will stop them?

Ulterior motive

I was talking with a friend over the weekend about Kindle Worlds and fan fiction in general. I mentioned in passing that I thought part of the allure of fan fiction was that the universe was already created, so writers can concentrate on telling a story rather than getting caught up in world-building. It also saves them the trouble of having to introduce and develop their main characters.

If writing a novel from scratch is like writing a symphony, then writing fan fiction is like improvising a jazz solo: You can't change the underlying structure or the main melody, but you still have a lot of room to play around in.

There isn't a lot of space to make a living writing fan fiction, and the legalities of even trying to sell it give me the howling fantods. But still, playing around in some other writer's universe can be a good writing exercise.