Wednesday, March 6, 2019

#TheIWSG March 2019 Hero or Villain?

Alex J. Cavanaugh, the founder, noticed a lot of blog posts from writers mentioning their doubts, concerns, and lack of confidence. He also saw the positive replies they received and realized that the writing community offered an abundance of support. Writers want to see other writers succeed, which is how he came up with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This group would act as a form of therapy, letting writers post about situations where they need encouragement, or to offer words of encouragement to others if they have experience. 

On September 7, 2011, Alex launched the monthly blog posting of the IWSG and it has been going strong ever since.

In addition to the hop, we have a website to assist and encourage all writers with tips and help from professionals. We have helpful admins who run groups on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram. Plus, we have a newsletter and we work with the Write-Edit-Publish community for flash fiction contests. Go to the site to find out about all of these and more!

For March 2019, the blog hop co-hosts are:

Optional Question for March: 

Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

I like heroes, but sometimes I like writing villains more. 

I rarely write from their perspective so maybe it's because it's a change of pace. 

Or, it could be because I find it easier to give a villain something "good" inside them that's been twisted to something bad than I do to get the right balance of strengths and flaws with my heroes.

Or, it's because I like redemptive story arcs. 

Example: I have a tendency to write heroes with too many issues - hence, they almost sound like villains. One of my betas thought my main character of that-superhero WIP (which I thought was finished) was going to go villain because he longed for the world to "just understand" him and he wanted to "share his knowledge" with the world. I re-read that section and realized it did sound like he was going to force his views on people so I had to go back and change it. Agh. It might have been easier to make him a villain, but that's not exactly the story I wanted to share.

I do want my MC and both of the other point-of-view heroes to have big problems and make mistakes so they have heroic redemption arcs. They get to save their world despite all of their flaws - loneliness, anger issues, trust issues, family issues, power control issues, etc. These are not teen Captain America heroes; they are more like a mixture of Hulk, Tony Stark, the Black Widow, and Poison Ivy. 

Do you struggle to balance your heroes' strengths and flaws?

My goals update:
My goals took a bit of a hit with some health stuff and snow this month, but I did do these things:
1. I kept stepping when and where I could. I managed to get in over 5,000 steps for 21 days, and out of those days, I did over 10,000 steps for 15 days. (These are tiny steps, not stride the globe kind of steps or "climb every mountain" kind of steps - just moving in the right direction steps.)
2. I received a rejection letter for my novel, but I decided it was okay. (See problems above). I count having a good attitude about this as a win.
3. I had four stories rejected, one poem and one 100-word story published. I have two more submissions of short stories floating around out there. I also received a "maybe, if we can make changes" kind of acceptance but I haven't seen anything from the editor in a week, so I'm thinking it's a no.
4. I revised the entire Anomalies novel again (again, again, again). This means, I made some small changes at the beginning which worked their way through the entire book. I also chopped two chapters and added three chapters. 
5. In the first days of March before this post, I began a new novel which I'm going to keep under wraps under than to say it's SciFi, and the working title starts with K. 

I had some exciting news just on Monday - My flash fiction piece "Captain's Log" earned runner-up for the 28 Days WEP Challenge!
Thank you, WEP!!!

Also, if you are interested, 
Both were accepted and published in February. 


Reedsy (an IWSG partner) has started a new paid-for-review service for authors.
Check it out at Reedsy Discovery
Reedsy has several helpful services available for authors. 

The Goodreads IWSG Book Club is having a discussion on description in Rebecca on March 20th!

The newest IWSG Anthology will be out in April!

How are you marching forward with your writing goals in March? 
And do you struggle to balance strengths and flaws in your characters?

The IWSG blog hop needs co-hosts for the next three months! Please check out Alex J. Cavanaugh's site for details!


L. Diane Wolfe said...

We are all flawed people which means with have both hero and villain in us.

Keep working on Anomalies. And taking those steps.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like you are making great progress. Sorry for your rejections, but it's great that you are submitting and have a good attitude about it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats on all the acceptances! Sounds to me like you're doing great with your goals. :)

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Regardless of health and snow, you're still doing amazingly with your progress! I hear what you're saying about writing protags with lots of issues. LOL

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Diane!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Natalie!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Madeleine! The best part of tracking goals is I can see progress.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Writing protags with problems can be interesting but troublesome.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Keep after those steps.
My hero is his own worst enemy and often comes off almost like a villain.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - any good hero has those doubts, but I'm sure your heroes aren't villains. :)

krystal jane said...

Congrats on the publications! The goals look like they're going pretty well. You're actively going after them. :) I absolutely loved flawed heroes! I actually find it easier to write questionable protagonists. It makes the villain that much more fun to write! I used to have such a problem with being bored by my protagonist. That hasn't happened in a while. ^_^

Debs Carey said...

Impressed with you being able to keep on with your writing goals despite health challenges. Mine have really worn me down for the past 3-4 months, and I've finally decided that I have to adopt the right mindset or this is going to get out of hand. Thanks for setting such a great example.

cleemckenzie said...

I hear you about those heroes with so many flaws they seem like villains. Keep up the submissions. Loved your goals list.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Krystal - Thanks! Some of my first protagonists were snooze-worthy boring, but then I started giving them deep flaws (not just surface ones) and I found I like writing them more.

Debs - Thank you! Taking small steps and keeping track of the accomplishments has helped me tremendously. I do have huge goals, but I'm trying to keep myself reasonable about them. That's the hard part, even when I don't feel well.

Tyrean Martinson said...

CLee - Thank you!!!

Lisa said...

Yes, I do have issues and have to work hard to listen to my characters and make sure they are happy with who they are, flaws and all. So far I'm meeting all my goals except one. But I haven't really decided if I'm going to do the A to Z Blogging Challenge, so I better make up my mind soon or I won't make it in!

Astrid said...

Wow, you did great, particularly on the steps! I’m so sorry about the rejections, but I understand that having a positive attitude is a win.

I love your answer to the fun question.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Lisa I'm glad I'm not the only one. Congrats on meeting your goals! I hadn't planned on A to Z, but I have this story idea ... Hmm.

Astrid - Thank you!

Tonja Drecker said...

Congrats on hitting your goals! I'd forgotten all about A to Z. Oh wow. I think a real hero has to overcome his dark side in some way, which makes him a possible villain too. Maybe.

Christine Rains said...

Great work with your goals! I submitted a bunch of short stories last month too. I love flawed characters. No one is perfect, and I don't want to read about perfect heroes. I also don't write from the antagonist's POV, but it does fascinate me to think what they're thinking.

Jemi Fraser said...

I find villain's fun as well - even though I do mostly write from the hero's pov.
You did so well with your goals! :)

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

You're making progress! I haven't really set goals for the month, but I've been making daily to-do lists and knocking the items off them each day.

The Cynical Sailor said...

You should have some sort of contest for us to try to guess the name of your new book. about "Kittens"? Or "Kryptonite"? Of "Kryptonite Kittens"?

I do like a good redemptive story arc. I think it's something we can all relate to as we all have flaws and have made mistakes. Or maybe that's just me :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

I like what you wrote about the villain having something twisted inside them, because that's my character in my new story. A flawed person that I'm having fun with, and hoping he turns to the good side...

Congrats on your steps. I need to start walking again, but sorry to hear that your health is suffering. Take Care.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Tyrean! Congratulations on tackling accumulating steps during these wintery months! Health and fitness underlie everything. I am a "housewalker." When the weather is too bad, I walk circles in my house to reach my stepping goal. I'm a big believer in "one step at a time," and keeping moving forward. Congrats on your 28 Days WEP Challenge achievement! I hope that you are enjoying IWSG Day!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats on your publications. And on all the exercise. Sounds like a good month to me.

Lynda R Young said...

Complex characters are great characters to read!
I like the change of pace too.

Small steps are still steps! Moving is all that matters!

Lee Lowery said...

I enjoyed your poem and short story. Congrats on publishing! Our characters really need their flaws - it's what makes them human and believable. The ultimate question of whether a person/character is a protagonist or antagonist can often be difficult to answer.

Chemist Ken said...

My protagonist starts out as pretty much a blank slate, and I come up with his/her strengths and flaws as the story goes along. I find it much easier to giver them weaknesses because it makes the story more interesting, but I force myself to add strengths, because that's one of the things that endears a character to the reader.

Sounds like you accomplished a lot this month.

Nick Wilford said...

You're totally right that heroes need flaws and foibles too. I think most heroes have the potential to tip over into villainhood. Sounds like you're keeping busy on the submission front, and it's paying dividends - congrats!

Diane Burton said...

Congrats on 2nd place. That challenge is tough. Despite snow (yuck) and ill health (double yuck) you've managed so much. Kudos! Steps--keep it going. You're doing great.

Erika Beebe said...

I do love how Marvel seems to show both the good sides and the flawed sides of our favorite hero’s. They all seem to fall from Grace to grow. I am amazed with all of your writing accomplishments! I wish I could say I met
My goals but I am moving really slow these days. I had planned to have my second draft of my sci fi done by January. Looks like April now :)

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Sorry to hear about the setbacks. Snow and health issue can really mess stuff up. But congrats on a new secret WIP!