Sometimes listening to cartoons in the background is enough for a writer’s breakthrough. The small things will make you tick more than an enormous effort we can put into attacking the wall that stands between us and dream world we’re writing about.
Watching Cars 2 made me notice plot twist that I saw many times but never confronted it. Cars 2 on repeat made it stand out (that and unconsciously rewriting the plot and noticing underlying romance) and it started to annoy me. That thing when you set up a good guy and a mysterious bad guy just to find out in the end that they are one and the same. It seems like a cheap trick in inability to build villain notorious enough to justify all the secrecy. Its not that bad when we’re offered satisfying explanation but when there is none it seems just like a lack of imagination.
I watched after that Geoffrey Rush being his wonderful self in a seemingly majestic movie just to be thrown in yet again plot twist where not one but all, all four that we see, good characters, only ones that interacted with Geoffrey’s character, were all conspirators to steal his paintings. It threw all the foreshadowing and characterization out of the window. It feels like they took another writer to make an end.
Monsters inc stands as good example of the same twist which has a seemingly good character who turns bad. But there’s foreshadowing, proper motivation and showing him in action doing bad things.
Without actually showing a bad guy doing bad things you’re just saying he’s the bad guy, and in fiction the rule is: show don’t tell. Try to make at least one scene where the bad guy is being bad, don’t leave your audience to take your word on how bad your villain is.
And that’s another point, your villain is a character too, with it’s own perspective and shortcomings, not just a scarecrow to put at the end of your story to make it scarier. Understanding him/her/it will make your story more compelling and less black and white. And who knows maybe there is a small Barney Stinson out there who will identify with the villain and cry his eyes out while seeing his hero’s downfall.
Because a villain is a hero in a world where the rules are reversed. But that’s another post about the rules so subscribe to find out when will I manage to resolve issue about rules of your own fictionverse.