Villain vs. Antagonist

Good morning everyone! I truly apologize for being a day late in my post.

I figured today I would go over what defines a villain and an antagonist. It was one of the things I came across while learning more about the craft of telling a story. I constantly heard the words hero, protagonist, villain, and antagonist used and sometimes interchangeably. But is there a difference? And if so, are there good examples? Well through my research I have discovered that there is and are!

So generally your villain is the bad guy. He’s the one you don’t want to mess with. He has a troubled past and wants to watch the world burn for one reason or another. These are easy to identify. If you’ve seen any Disney movie, read any comic book, watched any movie you’ll see them. Ursula, Hades, The Sandman, Bane; all of these are villains.

Then there’s the antagonist. But isn’t he the villain? The short answer? Sometimes. You see an antagonist is someone who opposes the hero/protagonist. Someone who poses a problem in the attaining of the goal. These were originally tricky for me to pick out, and honestly the most obvious ones I could show to you guys come from anime shows.

For example, if you’ve ever watched Dragon Ball you know there are loads of characters. One of which is most notable is Vegeta. Vegeta starts out as a villain. He challenges Goku for his position and is very hard on him. But later we find he is more of the antagonist. He allies with Goku and from time to time he bucks up against Goku’s plans.

Another. In the show Inuyasha we meet Sesshomaru. Now Sesshomaru can be villainous on occasion, but he can also aid, begrudgingly, in wars against the main villain, Naraku. But he has no vile backstory. He’s jealous of his brother, which gives a modicum of motivation but there is no consistent trailing to harm the hero.

Next time I’ll hit on the points of hero/protagonist. The Hubs and myself often discuss the idea of a hero’s own fatal flaws. Does this constitute the hero in all actuality a villain? Can their actions leading to their ultimate demise mean they are their own villain/antagonist? Stay tuned!

Have a good one!

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Book nonsense…

I recently posted a review of Siren by Tricia Rayburn. It was a pretty nice summer read and I liked it enough to pick up the second novel.

Then tragedy struck. I hit up my local BAM store and they don’t carry it, in store or online. Which I get, authors don’t sell in every chain. Okay. Then I travel over to my favorite B&N store. Not on the shelf. So I ask the clerk if it’s online. Hmm…. well they can’t get it in store unless the company gets requests for the novel. After a huff I whip out the old android and hit up Amazon. Yeah…. odds and ends from $2 up to $60!
It’s not even on Kindle folks!

So, I’m deprived of the next in the series and an doing the booky-pouts (new word!).

But on the plus side I did find Kamisama Kiss 3! And James Scott Bell’s book Conflict & Suspense!
So two out of the ain’t bad I suppose.

I would like to apologize for sparking your interest and not being able to supply the next review. It was good while it lasted. I just can’t say I totally understand why an author (who seems genuinely happy with her books and their sales) didn’t find some path to selling her hard work….. or at least blogging about why the stall.

Anyway, have a good one!

Question…

So, did you ever notice that when you go to Starbucks you see loads of people on their Internet devices? Well, did you notice that most of them are Apple products?

Yet, go down the street to your nearest Dunkin’ Donuts and everyone has an android?

Also, why can’t you find a decent phone with a slide out keyboard in America? One that’s also connected to AT&T? I know how to use a touch screen, heck I’m posting now via a touch screen. I enjoy the drag and type, but I’m nostalgic for the tiny buttons. 😦

I mean does everyone need a bigger phone? I like my tiny devices. I mean, compare the ipod nano with your cell phone. See what I mean?

Now, while I’m a happy android owner I did very much enjoy my little ipod…

And don’t get me started on the necessity for a Square reader.

Yup, that’s my Monday post. What can I say? It’s Monday after all!

Have a good one!

Siren

By Tricia Rayburn

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Vanessa and her sister Justine are very close. Every summer in Maine they head out, with Caleb and Simon, to their favorite secret cliff diving spot. But when Justine goes a little too far and gets in trouble their problems have just begun.

Soon there are mysterious deaths washing up on the shores, including Justine. Following Justine more and more people turn up on the sandy shores of Maine. Some blame the strange weather happenings, others worry about what’s in the water, but something else is off besides the weather. All of the victims have things in common. They all turned up on the same beach near each other, they are all male, and they all were found dead and smiling.

Still upset over Justine’s strange death, Vanessa decides to meet up with Caleb, Justine’s former boyfriend, and Simon, his older brother, to find solace. But Caleb isn’t there. He’s been gone since Justine died.

The oddities keep coming and the dead keep washing up. Could the dead men and Justine be connected? What’s with the crazy storms? Where did Caleb disappear to?

All of these questions need answers and you’ll only find them in the amazing story Tricia Rayburn tells. The water and story are deep, so pick up Siren next time in your YA section. It’s shocking!

Have a good one!

The Woman’s a Genius….

Oh. My. Goodness.

I just picked up the ebook copy of Deceptions by Lisa Wiedmeier and began reading it. Now, if you’ve read any of the series so far you HAVE to pick this one up!!! I am dying! I have always really enjoyed her novels and the way she presents her story. Now, however, I am so incredibly hooked I’m not going to be sleeping. It is awesome! She has not only grown as a writer, but she has also honed those skills and become a writing master. (And yes, that’s a thing.) This book takes you forward and back. It progresses and ties it together seamlessly.

I am freaking begging you to pick up this book!!!!! It rocks!!!!

Making the Monies….

I fully apologize for missing my usual Monday post. We had a family emergency and it derailed me. Anyway, onto the post!

I couldn’t remember if I had posted on this yet or not so I decided to hit it up specifically. When you go to the book store and pick up a novel you read the back cover/inside panel, you leaf through it, you check out the author, you check it out on Goodreads, then you check the price. When you go online you check out the cover art, try the sample, look at the price, then hit the old “buy now with one click” button. There may be a few other things you do to decide, but whether or not you sniff the thing is not the point. (Yes I know you do it…. and so do I.)

The point is that everything you check out was planned after much thought, change, then negotiations. That cover art cost the author something. That paper costs something. Even that shelf costs something. Everything that that book is cost someone something. (Even the editing.)

So that moment when you have discovered that awesome book and read that panel/back cover/sample then flipped it over to check the price…. what did you think? Were your first thoughts something along the lines of “Oh, not a bad deal” or more of the “Wow that’s expensive” variety? Either way that price means a lot of things. A lot of people worked to make this awesome thing happen. A lot of people did their best to try and sell this novel in their own way.

When the writer is sitting at home and gets that check on that one book they don’t see that 10, 15, or 20 dollars. They see change. Yep, those little coins you find in your car. Why? Because they only did the “first part” sort-to-speak. Now, granted, the more they sell the more they make and the better they get. The less time others have to spend correcting every little thing, the more they save. BUT, it takes skill to create an amazing cover art that will stop your patron. It takes a good editor to keep them hooked and not distracted by the really, really bad grammatical errors.

So, being a writer can’t begin with wanting to make lots-o’-dough. It has to be a passion. There simply is no better way to say it. If you are passionate about it then the process won’t kill you and the money won’t make you cry at first. I know I want to write because I love it. Is there more to it than just a dream? Certainly! But, at the end of the day, that thought about all of the work is exciting. Yes it will be hard. It will take loads of effort and emotion. My prize, however, is not in the money I make. No, it is in sharing a story no one has heard before. It is in taking my fans on an exciting journey that took me months/years to create. Why? Because that’s what I love. That’s why I love books.

Books are so much more than money. They are an escape and a journey. And if I can share my travels with someone who hungers for the same world, then I have accomplished my goal fully. And if they like it? That’s my reward.

I hope you have a great one, and keep on writing!!!

Story vs. Gameplay….

*Yikes! A Thursday blog post!* What can I say, I’m bored.

Today I wanted to explore the idea of storylines in gameplay. Is it necessary? Does it attract gamers? What styles “require” a good story? And what styles of games do not need storylines?

I have this relative, you see, who is convinced that his Xbox is the greatest thing since creation. He plays sports games constantly and his main argument for them being great is “it’s just better”. Eh….. while we may agree to disagree I had to investigate this theory on “it’s just better”. Why would they be ‘better’ or even ‘worse’? And that’s when I settled on story.

You see, most hardcore gamers play for story. Or so it seems. I mean, look at any of the bigger YouTube gamers. Or even, the bigger games. Metal Gear has an intricate story. Assassins Creed is a historical fictional story. Even going online for the MMORPGs, we have World of Warcraft, the top online game ever created. This game has many stories, side stories, alternate stories, etc. All of which attract the masses. Borderlands, Fallout, Bioshock all of which are futuristic stories. And even Halo has a story. And Banjo-Kazooie!

Now you have the sports games. But let’s broaden this horizon and just say your massive multiplayer games. So here you could list every sports/racing game along with some that still have stories. For instance every Mario game, Halo, certain Sonic games, Mortal Combat (Capcom vs DC). See, with these games you may not have as much story as you do buddies to play them with. This may make your gaming experience even more enjoyable.

So you can play sports games and Halo all day on your red-ring device if that suits your fancy. But to call yourself a gamer you can’t just play those style games. Or even simulation games for that matter.

To me, to have a ‘good’ game you need something to hold the consumer’s attention. Heck, even horror games have either a bit of story or a fun creepiness that hooks the masochists.

I hope you enjoy your games! Have a good one!

Dragonball From a Writer’s Perspective…

So If you’ve been around YouTube you may have stumbled across a few funny videos called “Dragonball Abridged”. These take their own approach to the worlds of DB and are pretty entertaining. While we were watching these videos yesterday I couldn’t help but think that DB is, actually, not a bad story.

No way, you’ve got to be kidding me!

No, really! Let me show you why.

Let’s look at the characters, and there are so many. Each character is pretty well fleshed out. Goku, for example, is your generally happy-go-lucky guy. But throughout the series we see him grow and change (aside from going super saiyan). He learns how to handle tough situations and enemies. Then let’s look at Piccolo. He wanted revenge. After he and Goku fight, however, he allies himself with him. Throughout the rest of the series he takes on the roles of teacher, friend, and sacrifice. We see Frieza who is evil to his core, as well as humorous. We watch his vile self doing all kinds of fights through the series and movies. He has a background and a vision. And those are only three of the many, many characters.

The story line also plays out in an interesting way. In all of the Dragonball stories you see mini plots that start and end in a short time span. Look at the fights. Loads of things are happening. The characters involved in the action are not all you see. Some may be traveling to warn a warrior, others may be seeking the dragonballs, others are the next villain. It can be very soap opera-ish. And all the while these “mini-plots” are adding up to the entire story line as a whole. Building the main plot little by little.

Also, the series has a massive sense of humor. Each race has their own naming motif. For the Saiyans it is vegetables. For Frieza’s lot… well they’re all cold. The Nameks are all musical. And, aside from the names check out their appearances. Mr. PoPo was originally considered racist due to the fact that he was colored black with large lips and no teeth. They have since scaled back the lips and made him blue.

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And let’s not forget Frieza. I mean… I’m still not convinced he’s a dude.

"I'm a real boy!"

“I’m a real boy!”