Tag Archives: Kdrama

#MondayBlogs Writing, Creating, and Loving Villains

7 Nov

Wizard World Comic Con invited me to speak on the panel Villains vs. Villains with authors Genese Davis, Jack Burgos, and RA Jones last month, and I loved it! We had a great time talking about what makes a villain likable, memorable, or just plain evil. Today, since I know so many of you couldn’t make it, I thought I’d share some of the awesome points brought up during the discussion.

Wizard World Comic Con Villain Crew. From left to right, RA Jones, Genese Davis, Shannon A. Thompson, Jack Burgos.

Wizard World Comic Con Villain Crew. From left to right, RA Jones, Genese Davis, Shannon A. Thompson, Jack Burgos.

First, there are so many different ways to tackle a villain. In regards to creating a person as the villain (rather than society or nature), you have the evil villain, the villain we love to hate, the sympathetic villain, the group of villains, and more. But here are my top three rules to keep in mind when creating any type of villain for your novel.

1. The Villain is the Hero in Their Own Book

Much like the sidekicks do not exist just to support the hero—as they say, your friends don’t exist just to support you, right?—the villain follows the same rule. They do not exist just to antagonize the hero. They have their own lives, desires, wishes, and fears. In my opinion, the best villains are the ones who believe they are the hero. If you had to write the story from their side, you could (even if you don’t agree with them). A great example of this is…history. Just look at the years and decades that came before us. Some of the worst, most vile human beings thought they were doing the right thing. A modern example of this is Valentine in The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

2. Avoid Clichés

I hate hate HATE the scorned woman villain trope. In fact, I hate the scorned man villain trope, too. Just because their lover—or their family—dies in the beginning, they become this crazy, evil maniac (generally for WORLD DOMINATION and REVENGE), and it becomes…yawn. Why? I think it’s a little silly. (And I say this as someone who has lost a mother, a friend, and more.) While revenge is A-okay in my villain book, I think we can tone it down from WORLD DOMINATION and get a little more personal, like—I don’t know—ruining one person’s life? Some clichés that were brought up included evil British doctors, (doctors of any sort, actually), and those that are just plain offensive, like people with disabilities who are evil because of their disabilities. (Please. Seriously. Stop.) Like with writing any character, research is key. Make sure you’re writing a genuine person who adds to the market in a unique way.

3. Overall Storyline

The villain doesn’t always have to lose. They could also tell the story or become good by the end. I’m dying for a book where the villain and hero become best friends (whether or not that’s a good thing or not), and I love it when the relationships between a hero and villain blurs. One of my favorite examples of this that I’m currently watching is The K2, a KDrama where the hero and villain have quite the interesting dynamic. Which brings me to my next point.

Challenge Yourself

Read books outside your favorite genre. Try reading the original comic books of those movies you’ve seen. Watch shows you wouldn’t normally try. Personally, I love KDramas and anime, and I think they have some awesome examples of villains that I don’t see as much of in Western shows. By expanding your palate on genres, mediums, and cultures, you will expand your understanding on creating villains, destroying villains, and more. If you read and watch the same types of stories over and over, you will most likely write the same types of villains.

So who wants a writing prompt?

Let’s take the villains we love to hate. How do you create one? One brought up by our crowd was Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter. Honestly, she’s always reminded me that super strict substitute teacher everyone hated in middle school. So, here’s your prompt. Take an average everyday role and exaggerate it to villain status. In Umbridge’s case, she could’ve started off as that substitute teacher. Figure out what annoys you at the core (in this case, “by the book” rules, even when those rules can be destructive or harmful or hurtful). Try someone who is nosy. Try someone who is stuck-up or cruel. Play with “good” roles, too. If you have a great coach for instance, you can also have a terrible one. Any role can be a good one to play with when it comes to creating a villain. It’s all about their personality…and how evil they can get.

Now go take over the world.

Just kidding.

~SAT

Wizard World Comic Con: Shannon A Thompson

Wizard World Comic Con: Shannon A Thompson

P.S. Thanks for having me, Wizard World Comic Con! I had an absolute blast! If anyone is curious about their 2017 schedule, check it out by clicking here. I’m excited to announce that I’m working with the convention to return next year. We will see! Keep your fingers crossed for me. I am working hard to travel more and speak at different events around the country. If you’re a reader and want me at an event near you, be sure to e-mail their staff and let them know! Your input helps! (And I will love you forever.)

Also, I’ll be at YALLFest in Charleston, South Carolina THIS Saturday! If you want to meet up, just shoot me an e-mail at shannonathompson@aol.com. I would love to see you!

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#SATurdate: Suicide Squad, Little Alchemy, Marshmallow Popcorn, & Cinderella and the Four Knights

20 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Texts from readers

Texts from readers

I received some funny texts from a reader! I won’t say which project she was referring to, but it had me laughing pretty hard! What can I say? Chic Nerd Reads got it right in her book review of November Snow when she said “THE AUTHOR GAME OF THRONED ME AND I WAS IN MY FEELINGS OKAY?!?!?!?” I have a reputation. In regards to a literal writing update, I’ve actually been working on a few projects this week. Basically, I’m not sure which one I really want to sink my teeth into. Using abbreviated titles, I have D, N, JTL, B, TGO, S, TMY, and TMN in various stages of the writing process. I keep going back and forth with a couple of them, too. (I think I’ve written the first chapter of B a million and one times.) I know I should be powering through July Thunder/Lightning right now, but taking a step back can also help reevaluate where the story is going. I’d rather take longer and get the book down right instead of rush a project and hastily create something with a sloppy plot and style. I’ll keep everyone updated though! To make up for my lack of update, this week’s #1lineWed is a line directly out of July Thunder/Lighting, so check that out below.

What I’m Publishing:

November Snow came in the mail! I’m super happy to hold the paperback in my hands, and I ordered a bunch of copies for Penned Con in St. Louis this September! You’ll be able to get your hands on this paperback first at that convention. Who else is excited? I know I am! It’ll be my first convention as an author, though I attended Penned Con last year as a reader, and I look forward to seeing some familiar faces and some new ones. Three CTP authors will be there, and I’ll be sharing a booth with the talented Natasha Hanova.

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

I have a little surprise for you. This #1lineWed line is actually from Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning!

This #1lineWed theme was believe, so here is your preview:

What I’m Reading:

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

I finished Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, and of course, gave it five-shiny-stars. I LOVE this trilogy, and I’m DYING to get my hands on the last book this November. Recommend to: young adult sci-fi/fantasy lovers, those who enjoy some complicated romance, and traveling between dimensions. Favorite Quote: There is strength within us that we can’t even comprehend until it’s called upon. If you want to read my full review, click here. If you want to check out my review of book 1, click here.

I’m also reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It’s awesome! But not for the light-hearted. While I really enjoy the epic world-building and danger, I find the amount of rape threats too much sometimes. I wish that had been toned down. Other than that, it’s a fantastic read! I’m about halfway through.

What I’m Listening To:

Gin Wigmore, because she’s a goddess. 

What I’m Watching:

I FINALLY saw Suicide Squad, and I definitely enjoyed it! I liked the humor, the action, and the overall plot. They made Cara Delevingne look so creepy! I also thought Margot Robbie was awesome. It’s nice to see female characters getting more than one line in a film. (I’m looking at you Superman Vs. Batman.) I also enjoyed seeing Will Smith back on the big screen. It felt like a lot was cut out though, so I look forward to when they release extras.

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

I also started watching Cinderella and the Four Knights…and it’s awesome. I love K-dramas. But this one is just too cute. (I don’t even normally enjoy fairy tale-related things, but come on! The protagonist is too cute.) But there are only two episodes available. BOO. I also started W, as suggested by Siamese Mayhem! I’ll probably talk more about that K-drama next week since I just started it last night.

Cinderella and the Four Knights

Cinderella and the Four Knights

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

I had a BUNCH of marshmallows laying around…and popcorn. So, marshmallow popcorn balls happened. Since I have a rice maker now, I also promised myself I would learn how to make sushi from home. So, I bought a bunch of fish and made a ton of sushi…and still had extra fish left over. So, seafood chowder happened. All of it was amazing. Not going to lie. I haven’t eaten that well in weeks.

What I’m Wearing:

Birthday hats! My best friend’s daughter had her seventh birthday. Pretty crazy!

What I’m Wanting:

All the episodes of Cinderella and the Four Knights!

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Literally, the longest dream ever happened to me this week, but I’ll cut some of the details out to make it readable. Basically, it started off with a teenage girl who was on her high school’s tennis team, but she didn’t study correctly, so she wasn’t allowed to go to the out-of-state tournament. Also, for punishment, she had to stay in the school overnight and make sure nothing happened to it. About 1 AM, she wakes up to noise, only to realize the recess area is on fire. So, she gets her cellphone, but it’s dead, so she has to go outside to a payphone to call the police. As she’s on the phone, however, a man with a gun runs up and starts shooting at the flames. Other men jump out with other weapons. It got crazy violent, including one man with an axe-throwing capability. But the girl screamed and ran back into the school with a man chasing her…Here’s where it gets weird. The school is no longer a school. It’s a home. A BIG home. And she seems to recognize it as her uncle’s house. With someone chasing her, she runs into a bathroom and barely locks it. The person begins pounding on the door, telling her to let him in, asking her to calm down, etc. But she’s going through her options. She even finds a gun, but it’s one of those “has to recognize the owner’s fingerprints” guns, so it doesn’t work. She then tears down the blinds, and looks out the window, where she sees a hot tub below her. So, she escapes out the window, and uses the ledges of all the other rooms in this apparent mansion to escape to lower levels. BUT…when she gets to the lower levels, she starts to realize it’s cold outside. The fire is gone. Snow is falling. People are sledding. It’s like a GIANT holiday party is right outside. So, she jumps into the snow, people see her, and the man chasing her begins chasing her again. She starts screaming, he starts screaming, and a stranger helps by separating the two. When the police come, they tell her they have no record of her call or of what happened…and no one knows who she is. SO HERE’S WHERE IT GETS WEIRDER. The dream then zooms out. MY DREAM. And it shows a boy watching a TV screen where the dream was. So, my dream was a movie in another dream level? I don’t know. But this boy gets mad at the ending and gets on YouTube to Google what the ending was about. Apparently, the movie has a new “rad” director who’s already famous for making films that don’t make sense. The boy gets mad at how cheap that is. (I do, too.) And then I woke up. I swear this felt like it went on for hours.

What Else Is Going On:

Little Alchemy

Little Alchemy

I accidentally discovered the Little Alchemy game, and I can’t stop. I now have 343 elements out of 560.

How do you make the best element ever, you ask?

Milk + Wild Animal.

It’s a cat.

You’re welcome.

~SAT

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