Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Everywhere women are raving about this amazing new shampoo!

EVERYWHERE WOMEN ARE RAVING ABOUT THIS AMAZING NEW SHAMPOO!

What if this time it really was amazing? What if it did something besides clean hair? What would women actually rave about? What would happen if men used it? Kids? Dogs? What are the cautionary statements in the fine print on the bottle?

Saturday, November 01, 2014

KM Weiland's Character Arc series

KM Weiland has written a wonderful series of posts about growing a story from a character's flaws, what she calls The Lie the Character Believes. While she calls it a character arc, if the character is the main character, this is the core of your story. She helps you grow your character from the damage in his past through all the structural aspects from Act 1 to the climax.

At her website, Helping Writers Become Authors, you can check for additional posts and sign up for her newsletter.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters? - What if there were a sure-fire secret to creating stunning character arcs? Would you be interested in discovering it? If you care about connecting with readers, grabbing hold of their emotions, and creating stories that will resonate with them on a level deeper than mere entertainment, then the answer has to be a resounding yes!

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes - People hate change. We may sit around and wish our lives were different, but when the rubber really starts streaking the tarmac, we usually find ourselves wishing we could just hang out here in our safe and familiar haunts. Characters are no different. They resist change just as staunchly as any of us.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 3: The Thing Your Character Wants vs. The Thing Your Character Needs - The Lie Your Character Believes is the reason for all character arcs. After all, if everything’s hunky-dunky, why change? We might think of the Lie as the cavity in a tooth. Everything might look shiny and white on the outside, but inside there’s decay.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 4: Your Character’s Ghost - What is your character’s ghost, and how does it affect his character arc? Once you’ve figured out the Lie Your Character Believes, as well as Thing He Wants and the Thing He Needs, the next question you need to ask yourself is: Why does the character believe the Lie in the first place?

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 5: The Characteristic Moment - First impressions do count. And your protagonist’s Characteristic Moment is his first chance to impress your readers. Now that we’ve got the basic theory of character arc out of the way and figured out how to set up your protagonist’s inner conflict, via the Lie He Believes, the Thing He Wants and the Thing He Needs, and the Ghost, we’re ready to officially begin writing our character’s story.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 6: The Normal World - Who wants to read about a boring old Normal World? The Lost World? Sure! The Exciting, Unusual, Exotic, and Absolutely Thrilling World? You betcha. But the Normal World? Isn’t that a pretty lame way to begin a story? Nope. Not if you want your character’s change arc to make sense, it isn’t.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 7: The First Act - The First Act is one of my favorite parts of any story. Why? On the surface, the First Act seems to be the slowest part of the story—and it often is. It’s just setup, after all, right? True enough, except for that one little word just. It isn’t “just” setup; it’s SETUP!

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 8: The First Plot Point - If the First Act is setup, then the First Plot Point is the point of no return in character arcs. The setup ends, and the story begins “for realz.” At this point the character commits—usually because he has no choice—to a decision that will propel him out of the comfortable stagnation of the Normal World and the Lie He Believes.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 9: The First Half of the Second Act - In the structure of character arcs, the First Half of the Second Act is where your character ventures (or is thrust) into uncharted territory—and gets lost. He may not quite see it that way himself, but this is where he begins to discover that the old rules (the Lie He Believes) no longer apply.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 10: The Midpoint - In a positive change character arc, your protagonist will have spent the First Half of the Second Act blundering around in foreign territory, making mistakes based on false assumptions, and getting his hand slapped for his every wrong move. But he’s also going to have been slowly—maybe even subconsciously—learning his lesson and figuring things out.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 11: The Second Half of the Second Act - The Second Half of the Second Act is where you cue the hero music in character arcs. Thanks to that major personal revelation at the Midpoint, the protagonist now gets it. The puzzle pieces are falling into place. The light bulbs have flashed on. He sees what he has to do to win the conflict.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 12: The Third Plot Point - If you had pick the single most important moment in characters arcs, what would it be? The Third Plot Point, you say? Well, you’d be right. Now here’s the harder question: Why is it the most important moment? The Third Plot Point is the low moment in your story.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 13: The Third Act - Character arcs in the Third Act are all about intensity. On the story’s exterior, the conflict is heating up. The protagonist is a runaway train thundering toward what has now become an inevitable confrontation with the antagonistic force. But, on the inside, he’s reeling.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 14: The Climax - In character arcs, as in plot, the Climax is the dot on the end of the exclamation point. The Climax is the reason for the story. This is where the author reveals what the journey the character just endured was really all about—and, in a positive change arc, why that journey has turned out to be worth all the heartaches and trauma.

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 15: The Resolution - The Resolution caps character arcs like the cherry on top of a banana split. In some respects, it almost seems to be an extraneous piece of the story. After all, your character’s arc is already complete. He irrevocably proved his devotion to the truth in the Climax. He turned his back on the Lie so completely that he’ll never again be able to surrender to its thrall.

KM Weiland mentions 3 types of character arcs: Change, Negative and Flat. The Change Arc is gone into detail above. The following 2 sets dig into how the Negative and Flat Arcs differ.

How to Write a Negative Character Arc, Pt. 1: The First Act - Who in heaven’s name would want to write a negative character arc? Well, how about Shakespeare, Dostoevksy, Faulkner, and Flaubert? Just to name a few small-time wordsmiths you may have heard tell of. Everybody likes a happy ending, but, let’s face it, not all stories have happy endings.

How to Write a Negative Character Arc, Pt. 2: The Second Act - The Second Act in a negative character arc bears a lot of similarity to that in a positive change arc. In both types of arc, the character will be thrust out of his Normal World into a new and strange dilemma, where he will be forced to confront his Lie.

How to Write a Negative Character Arc, Pt. 3: The Third Act - In a word, the negative character arc is about failure, and this becomes nowhere more clear than in the Third Act. If the positive change arc is about redeeming self and the flat arc is about saving others, then the negative character arc is about destroying self and probably others as well.

How to Write a Flat Character Arc, Pt. 1: The First Act - Next to the positive change arc, the flat character arc is the most popular storyline. Also called the “testing arc,” the flat arc is about a character who does not change. He already has the Truth figured out in the beginning of the story, and he uses that Truth to help him overcome various external tests.

How to Write a Flat Character Arc, Pt. 2: The Second Act - The Second Act is the beating heart of your story—and that’s just as true in a flat character arc as it is in a change arc. The Second Act is all about loosing the character into an unsettled world.

How to Write a Flat Character Arc, Pt. 3: The Third Act - The Third Act is where we find arguably the greatest similarities between the flat character arc and the positive change arc, since in both types of story the protagonist will have a full grasp on the Truth by this point.

These aren't specifically part of the series, but are related. (There may be more at her website by the time you're reading this.)

The Impact Character: Why Every Character Arc Needs One - When we think of necessary characters, we tend to come up with obvious choices such as the protagonist, the antagonist, and maybe the mentor, love interest, and sidekick. “Impact character” probably isn’t at the top of your list. But it should be. Because you can’t create a character arc without one.

Can a Character’s Arc Be a Subplot? - You’ve written an amazing story. Your premise is high concept. Your plot structure is brilliant. The whole thing is killer. But the main character’s arc seems to be, well, lacking. It’s there all right. It just doesn’t get much screentime. It’s more of a, ahem, subplot. Is that even possible? Is it workable?

How to Figure Out WHAT Your Character’s Arc Should Be - Over the last six months and three series, you’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how to structure your character’s arc–whether it’s positive, flat, or negative. But what you may still be wondering is how to figure out which arc you should choose for your character.

Should All Your Minor Characters Have Arcs? - If your protagonist’s character arc has the ability to deepen your story, then just think how much more depth you can create if all your minor characters have arcs! Dizzying concept, isn’t it? And it raises the (somewhat trepidatious) question: Should all your minor characters have arcs? It’s a fair question.

The All-Important Link Between Theme and Character Progression - Theme is a slippery concept. The prevailing wisdom among writers is that if you apply any deliberate force to your theme, you’ll end up with a heavy-handed Aesop’s fable. On the other hand, a story without a theme is shallow escapism at best and an unrealistic flop at worst.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It is not in my nature to admit defeat. -- Alexandra David-Néel

Alexandra David-Néel
She has such a forthright gaze. She has secrets. She challenges your own secrets, hinting that she can see them whether you choose to see them or not.

Take ten minutes to craft a story of this woman. Who is she? What were the circumstances of her life? What prompted her to embark on the events that made her notable?

Don't edit. Just let the ideas flow and take you where they will. :-)


Her own story is possibly even more inspiring than her photo, and may spark a female character who won't be constrained by her times for you.

Alexandra David-Néel was born in 1868, hardly a time when adventurer and woman could be one and the same. Even from an early age her heart was drawn beyond the garden walls and fortunately had the spirit and determination to follow it.
"Ever since I was five years old, a tiny precocious child of Paris, I wished to move out of the narrow limits in which, like all children of my age, I was then kept. I craved to go beyond the garden gate, to follow the road that passed it by, and to set out for the Unknown."
She was a Belgian-French explorer, spiritualist, Buddhist and writer. She is best known for her 1924 midwinter trek across the Himalayas to the holy city of Lhasa in forbidden Tibet. Accompanied by her adopted son Lama Yongden, she disguised herself as a beggar to elude soldiers and brigands. David-Néel wrote over 30 books about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels.
Of Tibet when she had left the first time, "Truthfully, I am 'homesick' for a land that is not mine. I am haunted by the steppes, the solitude, the everlasting snow and the great blue sky 'up there'! The difficult hours, the hunger, the cold, the wind slashing my face, leaving me with enormous, bloody, swollen lips."
She began her adventurous life as an opera singer, traveling to far corners of the world. At 36 she met and married a French railroad engineer though she was shortly off for India. Her husband would be her friend and supporter for the rest of his life while she explored the world.
"It is a funny and inconceivable idea that people attach to a place like oysters to their bench, when there is so much to see in this vast world and many walks of life to enjoy."
At one point she befriended and perhaps took as her lover Sidkeong Tulku, a young, dashing progressive Maharaja of Sikkim. His life ended tragically by poison in 1914. Afterwards, she retreated into the Himalayas to live and study with the Gomchen of Lachen, the hermetic master of the Buddhist monastery near the Tibetan border from whom she deepened her knowledge of mystical Buddhist practices. After studying for two years she and her adopted son left to work their way into Tibet.

There is more to her story at her Wikipedia page. The following two webpages, though still brief, go into more detail.

A Mystic in Tibet - Alexandra David-Neel
The Amazing Tibetan Adventures of Alexandra David-Neel

Her books and a couple of biographies are also listed at her Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quadrival Quandary

At Quadrival Quandary you're given four unusual words and challenged to use them not just in a sentence but in one illustrative sentence. As the guidelines at the site state, "Your sentence should do more than use the words in a grammatically acceptable way, it should show what they mean. If someone didn't know the meaning of a word, could they make a good guess from how it's used in the sentence?"

The definitions are given on the page for each new day's set of words. If you dig into the archives or the randomizer (which digs further back to when the site was contributed to regularly), the sentences others crafted are there to inspire you.

From February 13, 2012:
  • promethean
  • ventripotent
  • mutt
  • exoteric
"Dr Atkins decided to confront the elephant in the Obesity Task Force conference room by asking, 'If it’s already a promethean task to convince people that their ventripotent mutts need more exercise and less food, how will we ever mount an effective exoteric awareness campaign for their masters to change their ways as well?'" (by wordgirl)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Snowballing

A Snowball is a poem in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer. If you're metrophobic, try writing a sentence. Though poetry might be easier since it doesn't need to make as much sense ;-)

I
go
now
into
under
ground
tunnels
carrying
bodacious
starstruck
jackrabbits
backflipping

Two sites that list words by length are Your Dictionary and Best Word Lists.


If you would like to see a prolific snowballer in action, check out Snowball Poetry on Twitter. (The beginning of mine came from one there.)

Snowball was created by the Oulipo (Workshop of Potential Literature). They gather together to create constrained writing challenges. It's also called a chaterism which Wikipedia defines as "where the length of words in a phrase or sentence increases or decreases in a uniform, mathematical way." (I'm guessing since snowballs get bigger when rolled, the word originally referred to poems with words that increased. Chaterism is a broader concept.)

There is a Snowball Poetry Generator for Windows.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Tripartite soul

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr said, "Every man possesses three characters: that which he exhibits, that which he really has, and that which he believes he has."

Describe your character's three characters.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Frantic tangle

For each set of 5 words create a sentence about fall or your favorite fall holiday. (Feel free to tamper with word forms.)

hunger   early  frantic rattle   incredible
quality  tangle mist    sweet    fallow
absolute drench jolt    tremble  heartache
hamper   shard  might   yearn    bicker
obscene  meager freak   malign   incredible

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Well seasoned

Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter walk into a Starbucks. They all sit down with their favorite seasonal beverage, each with a twist. (They're special. They can get their seasonal beverages any time of the year.) Describe what each is drinking in seasonal terms.

If you're familiar with Starbucks menu, use that to inspire you. If not, make stuff up.

Feel free to substitute you're favorite beverage joint.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Blue blood

"She had ice water in her veins."

Literally.

What kind of creature is she? What kind of environment does she need? Does she need a cold environment? Is she able to keep her body cold?

Why is she meeting with your character? Who is she? What does she want?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I dare you to write ...

On the I Dare You To Write Tumblr you're dared to write "a recipe for a dream," "like you've just woken up as your 3-year-old self," "someone with red eyes," "include the phrase 'dragons make everything better.'"

Here's one of those "I wish I'd thought of that!" ideas :-)

I DARE YOU TO WRITE ABOUT A GOD VISITING THEIR LAST FOLLOWER

Be creative with it. The god will die with this follower’s death, what will they say? Will the follower be pleased to meet their god? Or will they be angry they stayed hidden so long?


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Behind blue eyes

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -- Ian Maclaren

What are the secret battles your character fights? What does she struggle with behind her mask? Where is she vulnerable that she doesn't want anyone to know about? What must she keep hidden deep inside her? What frightening truth must she keep locked up inside?

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

A grumpy retired baseball player and a sassy hotshot Japanese lawyer ...

A writing block breaker idea from my daughter. :-)

Get a big stack of colored index cards.

Write down your story’s characters on one color of cards, one character per card. (This is good to get the feel of your characters by throwing them into random scenarios! But if you want a more generic game, write down different characters like “princess” “retired baseball player” “hotshot Japanese lawyer” etc.)

On another color of cards write down some basic emotions like “sad” “angry” “grumpy” “sassy”.

Scenarios! On a third set of cards write down any scenarios you can think of. From basic things like “fight” and “trapped in a thunderstorm” to “abducted by aliens."

Keep the piles separate, but shuffle each individual stack.

Draw as many characters as you want (even just one!) and then one emotion card for each one (everyone’s gotta feel something!), then one scenario card.

Say you get:

Auto Mechanic, Soccer Dad and Yankees Fan. For their emotions you get angsty, volatile and numb. And for a scenario you get Lost At Sea.

For the scene you’re going to write, an angsty auto mechanic, a volatile soccer dad and a numb Yankees fan are lost at sea together. (You can decide if these emotions are how they feel about the situation or maybe that’s just how they’re feeling when they get on the ship!) And go with it!

As she then mentions, it's a lot like the popsicle game we played when she was a kid so colored popsicles sticks will work too. That's described in the Dragon Writing sticks prompt.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The exchange


Pick one and expand on it:

The one on the left is the head of state. The other her closest adviser.

They are very old vampires come to challenge the city's current leadership.

One is an assassin and the other has just passed on the next assignment to her.

They are jewel thieves.

They are co-rulers of a small but wealthy country. A scruffy scientist has come to persuade them to finance his expedition to the Dark Continent.

One is the newly hired body guard and investigator after the other's life was threatened.

One is an android, the other her creator. Tonight the android must flawlessly perform as a human to prove she is more than just a machine.

Or come up with your own. :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"My mother never ..."

"My mother never ..."

Set a timer for 3 minutes. (Try the Write or Die one in the sidebar to the right.) Finish the sentence in as many ways as you can. It needn't be the same mother. Don't worry about quality. The goal is quantity. Practice sending your inner editor off on vacation so you can let the ideas flow like a flash flood :-)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ghost light

It's your first night as the newest member of the resident company of the Black Rose Repertory Theater. It's 2114. Only a week ago you emigrated from a colony on Mars to San Francisco, the city of your ancestors.

You enter the backstage where several members of the cast are chatting, tablet scripts of Little Shop of Horrors in hand. As you approach a woman steps from the shadows. Oddly she's dressed in full costume. Even more oddly she's dressed in a costume from the 1800s.

"Ah, excellent!" she says when your gazes meet.  "You can see me. It's been too long. We have much work to do."

"Aren't we doing Little Shop of Horrors?" you ask. "I didn't think it was a dress rehearsal so soon."

From the middle of the stage the lead actress calls out, "Come on over. Read for Audrey until Lannie gets here."

The costumed woman shakes her head with a smile. She passes her hand through your arm. So, not flesh and blood. Ghost? Hologram? Practical joke of initiation?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Whitewashing villains, part 5

And the final set of Whitewashed villains. These are just the one's I chose from the first page of villains. There are more on that page and lots more on the other 6 pages at Villain Whitewashing at TV Tropes.

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✳️ Daring to look beyond the norms of the world in which he had spent his life, this visionary tried to bring technology into a world that was locked in a medieval Dark Age, all the while enlisting the help of a minority so oppressed that its members were killed on sight. He was driven from his home by a mob unwilling to make sacrifices in the name of progress, and was eventually executed as a common criminal. Saruman from Lord of the Rings. -- Blazar
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They are a wealthy and influential family, respected as pillars of the community. Despite their lofty status, however, they are very close and loving towards each other and are paticularly protective towards their women. This is due partly to the fact that they suffer from a tragic condition which has forced them to adopt practices that society would frown upon in order to survive - practices which they must keep secret lest they be ruined. They have recently faced a crisis in the form of a self rightous busy body who kidnapped one of their childeren as part of a schene to turn her against her family and the traditions that have insured their survival. They were able to rescue her, but can they undo the damage done to her impressionable mind? The Kuhoin Family from Kure-nai. -- Bradley
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All he wants to do is to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, give the human race its free will back, depower a dangerous god, and save his sister from an unknown yet terrible fate. Fujiwara, Suzumiya Haruhi series -- Brendan D Rizzo
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✴️ An idealistic young woman who overcame torture from the The Fair Folk and attempted execution from the resident Knight Templars to learn magic and assist the city's guardian in his work. Even when her beloved mentor was assassinated, she remained devoted to protecting Chicago's people, undergoing traumatic Training from Hell so she could become strong enough to do so. She's a bit of a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but at heart, she just wants her life to go back to how it used to be. Molly Carpenter (aka "The Ragged Lady") from The Dresden Files. -- Argon2
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✴️ A confident, fiercely intelligent atheist in a devoutly religious society where there was no room for non-believers. The courage with which he refused to conform to their dogma won him more than a few followers, and even the series' protagonists found themselves swayed by the strength of his argument. Sol, of Warrior Cats. -- Argon2
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✳️ Though her culture, friends and homeland were ravaged in a horrific war, this teenager refused to give up her struggle for survival. After watching her family nearly starve to death, she vowed to never let it happen again- even if she had to break the misogynistic, illogical laws of her time to do so. Scarlett O'Hara, from Gone with the Wind. -- Argon2
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✴️ A swarm of foreign animals invaded their home, ate their prey, and killed their kin. Of course they fought back- what sane creature wouldn't? The badgers of Warrior Cats- the group of them that attacks the Clans in Twilight. -- Argon2
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A brilliant woman bringing justice to those who tried to murder her as a child. Akane Kurashiki of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. -- Argon2
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✳️ A frail, elderly woman who was the victim of age discrimination. Her crusade against the country's tyrannically egotistical emperor saved the homes and livelihoods of an entire village of people, and the concoctions she brewed in her private laboratory would have revolutionized science. Yzma, of The Emperor's New Groove. -- Argon2

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Whitewashing villains, part 4

More Whitewashed villains. :-)

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A young boy whose whole family was killed by a money-hungry assassin now has the heavy responsibility of running the family business. The one thing he wants the most in the world is for the assassin of his parents to face some poetic justice! Jasper Batt Jr, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. -- Arachinos
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✴️ A pair of enterprising inventors (with great singing skills) attempt to solve a crippling cider shortage problem with the use of their revolutionary machine. Opportunity in this very community! Flim and Flam, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic -- Arachinos
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✴️ In a country where oppressive order reigns supreme, this fun-loving goofball was subjected to a Fate Worse than Death by a pair of oppressive monarchs for attempting to add a little spice to the world. Discord, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic -- Arachinos
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Suffering from a debilitating illness that confines her to a bed, this girl would do anything for playmates and a normal life. Ellen, The Witch's House -- Arachinos
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✴️ An obedient child who is proud of his heritage and just wants to make his selfish father proud of him. Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist. -- A Xavier B
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All she wants is to be reunited with her brother. v-13 from BlazBlue. -- Arutema
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A guardian who, after being abandoned by his parents, made a vow to protect everybody from going through what he had to suffer. Rey from Mega Man Starforce. -- Bass Blues
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All he wanted was to finally have friends after years of being alone. Coyote Starrk, Bleach -- BDK
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A brilliant scientist and surgeon who worked to create a world of perfection and equality, only to be exiled by opportunist reactionaries and betrayed by the love of his life. After spending nine millennia sealed in a forsaken dimension, he carried out his more than just revenge, trying at the same time to improve the planet that saw him as a monster. Even this time, he was stopped by a selfish, arrogant eugenicist and its ragtag crew. Yawgmoth from Magic: The Gathering. -- Belfagor

Monday, July 14, 2014

Whitewashing villains, part 3

Third set of Whitewashed villains.

................................................................................................................................................................
✳️ He just wants to go home. The Smoke Monster, Lost -- Animenutcase (Though really could apply to loads of villains and heroes.)
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He wants to avenge the death of his emperor and save his country from an incompetent sovereign. Wang from Irresponsible Captain Tylor -- Aniuch
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All he wants to do is get revenge on those who separated him from his beloved, and ease the suffering of the rest of the world in the process. Count Bleck, Super Paper Mario -- Anomalocaris20
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✳️ Originally content with his teaching job, he soon discovered a soul in trouble. He took this critically injured man into his care, searching for what he would need to nurse him back to his old self. He braves a long series of challenges and attrition from one of his fellow teachers, only to be stopped and brutally murdered by a lying preteen who won't assist him. Professor Quirrel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone -- Anomalocaris20
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A cleric devoted to his god and his cause. Will give anything, even his own life, to win equality for his people. Redcloak, Order Of The Stick -- Ansem Paul
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A man in black who respects his employees and works to protect the city from a callous God. Kitanjia Megumi, The World Ends With You. -- Ansem Paul
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✳️ A Holocaust surviour, who simply seeks to create a world where he and others like him will not be oppressed. Magneto, X Men. -- Ansem Paul
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A simple-minded magical girl, with somewhat out of the ordinary eating habits and unorthodox power, causing her to be oftentimes seen as evil. She actually deserves some pity. Her poor control over her power oftentimes gets her hurt, and she is the laughingstock of the entire world, beaten up by everyone and anyone who is able to do so at every possible occasion. She spends her days in permanent hunger. She is also quite curious and willing to question the world. Rumia, Touhou Project. -- Arachinos
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✴️ A group of deeply religious men doing everything within their power to try and save the world from the most terrifying plague to ever exist. The Scarlet Crusade, World of Warcraft. -- Arachinos
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A young boy whose whole family was killed by a money-hungry assassin now has the heavy responsibility of running the family business. The one thing he wants the most in the world is for the assassin of his parents to face some poetic justice! Jasper Batt Jr, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. -- Arachinos
................................................................................................................................................................
✴️ A pair of enterprising inventors (with great singing skills) attempt to solve a crippling cider shortage problem with the use of their revolutionary machine. Opportunity in this very community! Flim and Flam, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic -- Arachinos
................................................................................................................................................................
✴️ In a country where oppressive order reigns supreme, this fun-loving goofball was subjected to a Fate Worse than Death by a pair of oppressive monarchs for attempting to add a little spice to the world. Discord, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic -- Arachinos
................................................................................................................................................................
Suffering from a debilitating illness that confines her to a bed, this girl would do anything for playmates and a normal life. Ellen, The Witch's House -- Arachinos
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✴️ An obedient child who is proud of his heritage and just wants to make his selfish father proud of him. Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist. -- A Xavier B
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All she wants is to be reunited with her brother. v-13 from BlazBlue. -- Arutema
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A guardian who, after being abandoned by his parents, made a vow to protect everybody from going through what he had to suffer. Rey from Mega Man Starforce. -- Bass Blues
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All he wanted was to finally have friends after years of being alone. Coyote Starrk, Bleach -- BDK
................................................................................................................................................................
A brilliant scientist and surgeon who worked to create a world of perfection and equality, only to be exiled by opportunist reactionaries and betrayed by the love of his life. After spending nine millennia sealed in a forsaken dimension, he carried out his more than just revenge, trying at the same time to improve the planet that saw him as a monster. Even this time, he was stopped by a selfish, arrogant eugenicist and its ragtag crew. Yawgmoth from Magic: The Gathering. -- Belfagor
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✳️ Daring to look beyond the norms of the world in which he had spent his life, this visionary tried to bring technology into a world that was locked in a medieval Dark Age, all the while enlisting the help of a minority so oppressed that its members were killed on sight. He was driven from his home by a mob unwilling to make sacrifices in the name of progress, and was eventually executed as a common criminal. Saruman from Lord of the Rings. -- Blazar
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They are a wealthy and influential family, respected as pillars of the community. Despite their lofty status, however, they are very close and loving towards each other and are paticularly protective towards their women. This is due partly to the fact that they suffer from a tragic condition which has forced them to adopt practices that society would frown upon in order to survive - practices which they must keep secret lest they be ruined. They have recently faced a crisis in the form of a self rightous busy body who kidnapped one of their childeren as part of a schene to turn her against her family and the traditions that have insured their survival. They were able to rescue her, but can they undo the damage done to her impressionable mind? The Kuhoin Family from Kure-nai. -- Bradley
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All he wants to do is to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, give the human race its free will back, depower a dangerous god, and save his sister from an unknown yet terrible fate. Fujiwara, Suzumiya Haruhi series -- Brendan D Rizzo
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✴️ An idealistic young woman who overcame torture from the The Fair Folk and attempted execution from the resident Knight Templars to learn magic and assist the city's guardian in his work. Even when her beloved mentor was assassinated, she remained devoted to protecting Chicago's people, undergoing traumatic Training from Hell so she could become strong enough to do so. She's a bit of a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but at heart, she just wants her life to go back to how it used to be. Molly Carpenter (aka "The Ragged Lady") from The Dresden Files. -- Argon2
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✴️ A confident, fiercely intelligent atheist in a devoutly religious society where there was no room for non-believers. The courage with which he refused to conform to their dogma won him more than a few followers, and even the series' protagonists found themselves swayed by the strength of his argument. Sol, of Warrior Cats. -- Argon2
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✳️ Though her culture, friends and homeland were ravaged in a horrific war, this teenager refused to give up her struggle for survival. After watching her family nearly starve to death, she vowed to never let it happen again- even if she had to break the misogynistic, illogical laws of her time to do so. Scarlett O'Hara, from Gone with the Wind. -- Argon2
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✴️ A swarm of foreign animals invaded their home, ate their prey, and killed their kin. Of course they fought back- what sane creature wouldn't? The badgers of Warrior Cats- the group of them that attacks the Clans in Twilight. -- Argon2
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A brilliant woman bringing justice to those who tried to murder her as a child. Akane Kurashiki of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. -- Argon2
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✳️ A frail, elderly woman who was the victim of age discrimination. Her crusade against the country's tyrannically egotistical emperor saved the homes and livelihoods of an entire village of people, and the concoctions she brewed in her private laboratory would have revolutionized science. Yzma, of The Emperor's New Groove. -- Argon2

1000 ships of the Underworld

1000 ships of the Underworld

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A big name

2 miles of Hamad

Whitewashing villains, part 2

Second installment of Whitewashed villains.

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A man who wishes to avenge his best friend's death, while stopping a god-like being from destroying all of humankind. Richter Abend from Tales Of Symphonia Dawn of the New World. -- Airship Canon
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✴️ A half-breed despised by both races he descended from, he took over his father's prestigious position in the church, gaining respectability from that station. Underwent a terrible pilgrimage at a young age so that his beloved, dying mother would always be with him in spirit. After this lifetime of sorrow, he swore to put an end to suffering in the world, only to be taken down by the woman he married. Seymour, Final Fantasy X -- Allronix
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A group of people, horribly mutated to the point of being unable to fit in with humanity, seek to put a stop to the manipulative bastard who did it to them so he can't destroy anyone else. The Brotherhood of Evil, Doom Patrol -- Allronix
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A historian and philosopher, she saw the pointlessness of a war fought for 25,000 years between religious factions after having served both. She sought to purge the galaxy of the evil entity behind the conflict and break its will, freeing the galaxy from its endless tyranny. She took many students over the years, and all betrayed her in the end. Her final and greatest finally killed her - dooming the galaxy to more of the evil she spent her life trying to destroy. Kreia, Knights of the Old Republic. -- Allronix
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✴️ A devoutly religious woman who uses every ability she has in the name of God to keep control over her backward, superstitious, and borderline heathen country. Nessarose, Wicked. -- Allronix
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✳️ Believing that the world was past saving, this man made an elaborate Deal with the Devil to prevent another horror like the World War. He invested his entire fortune, all his skills, and his incredible intellect to sweep away the corruption and sadness surrounding him. Ivo Shandor, Ghostbusters. -- Allronix
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✳️ A self-made man who escaped from a horrific homelife, this multibillionaire has brought hundreds of jobs to a small town by making his home there. While his relationship with his son is rocky, he has hope that the boy will turn out to be a proper heir someday. Smallville's Lionel Luthor -- Ambar Son Of Deshar
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She only wants to prove that her late adopted grandfather was right and fulfill his last request. Miyo Takano, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni -- Animenutcase
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A creature seeks out young girls in order to give them power and grant their wishes, only asking that they use their new powers to defeat monsters threatening mankind. Kyubey, Puella Magi Madoka Magica -- Animenutcase

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Whitewashing villains, part 1

Often times the villain is more interesting than the hero. Villains are driven in pursuit of ideals they're passionate about. The hero, on the other hand, is relegated to doing the right thing by stopping them.

Here are tales of villains written from the villain's point of view, where he or she is, of course, the hero. Pick one as the inspiration for an actual hero.

These are selected from the first page of Villain Whitewashing at TV Tropes. (There are 6 more pages!) Like the listings there, I've blocked out the names of the villains because the reveal can be surprising and fun! (Reveal them by highlighting.) Unfortunately, most are not from mainstream entertainment so you probably won't recognize most of them. But if one of them inspires you, that's a good thing! Your inspiration won't be blocked by ideas from the original story. (I've marked mainstream ✳️ and popular ✴️ sources.)

I'll release the ones I selected a few at a time over the next few days. There is also Paint the Hero Black if you want heroic inspiration for villains.

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✴️ A loyal, selfless, hardworking man who will do anything to assist his abusive master and get revenge on the man who injured him, even if it means sacrificing his own life. Legato Bluesummers from Trigun -- 2writeis2life
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She just wanted to be loved by the one person in the village who wouldn't pick on her for being strange or different. Megumi Shimizu from Shiki -- 2writeis2life
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✳️ She only ever loved two things: her pets and the man of her dreams. Catwoman, Batman -- Absynthe
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A wizard who fled civilization for the sake of forbidden love, and defied Death itself to guide the footsteps of his powerful young son. Ipslore the Red from Sourcery. -- Acacia
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This great knight was betrayed by his best friend simply for believing in a fair balance of power. He escaped the attack on his life to befriend a young boy and instruct him in the ways of knighthood. Together, the master knight decided, they would change things for the better and return a metaphysical balance to the many worlds. Master Xehanort, from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep -- Agent S 7
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A man who wishes to avenge his best friend's death, while stopping a god-like being from destroying all of humankind. Richter Abend from Tales Of Symphonia Dawn of the New World. -- Airship Canon
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This former miner started a revolution against the corrupt, segregationist government and will sacrifice anything for the sake of peace throughout the galaxy, even his own home planet. Though he sometimes feel it necessary to be harsh, he has (apparently) endless forgiveness for his traitorous second-in-command. Megatron, G1/IDW comics -- akisawana
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Four Angels who have watched over humanity for ages, protecting us from harm, and only wish to prevent the destruction of our protection. The Peacemakers in Scrapped Princess. -- Airship Canon
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✳️ A heart-broken man who lost his family because of a corrupt warlord, and now dedicates his life to destroy all corrupt systems in the world. His only daughter does not see him as a father figure because of his failure to protect her (and her mother). His best student betrayed him and burnt down his home and people to ashes. He risked his life to destroy a city he deemed corrupt, only to be stopped, and indirectly killed, by his former student. Ra's al Ghul from Batman Begins. -- The Adept Rogue

Way too many good reasons to murder someone

by Joyce A. Fetteroll, Version 1.1, July 2014 -- Updated

Or kill someone. Depends on your point of view. But murder does have a more dramatic sound to it.

This list of reasons to murder someone is just the tip of the blade poking out of the black trench coat.

I've divided them into categories. Some clearly belong in one category. Some I've duplicated and put in more than one category. Some are duplicates with different wording. Some could go either way depending on what is gained and whether someone gains greater control or merely freedom from being mauled.

And it is all about personal gain. It may, for the killer, be gaining freedom from an attacking monster, gaining greater control, gaining peace and quiet, gaining money, gaining a sense of having made the world a little bit better ....

There's even an aspect of personal gain in mercy killings. The murderer gains the freedom of not having the memory of his/her victim suffering through his/her inaction, even if he/she also gains the knowledge that he/she has done something he/she can't live with having done.

Update, July 2014

I came across a great post, Murderous Motivations, that delves into what are considered the 4 motivations for murder: love/sex, greed, revenge, and madness. My list is obviously much longer! But I would be very surprised if my categories wouldn't fit neatly into the 4 broader categories, especially since she says Ed McBain had a sleuth driven to discover a new motive for murder who failed. She also lists the FBI's 4 categories of murder. And finally she gives a selection of the motives -- way more than mine! -- in The Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crime by Eric W. Hickey. You can see the full list of motives in the book's table of contents at Google Books. (As she mentions, the list price for the book is outrageous, but the used ones are quite affordable.)

(Any) - An extra layer tacked onto one of the other reasons
  1. imagined they were someone else/delusional/insane
  2. mistaken for someone else
  3. was about to die but recovered unexpectedly (and no one knows yet)

murder-annoyance.jpgAnnoyance - Often to gain peace. The murderer will return to regular life, not take on power or control. Most of the reasons indicate a severe need for anger management training.
  1. "road rage"
  2. 57 years of irritation
  3. android malfunctioning in an annoying way
  4. annoying habits
  5. arrogant
  6. bad taste
  7. beautiful
  8. better at everything
  9. charming popular personality who is actually clueless about the subject he/she is an "expert" at
  10. cheater
  11. disgusting habits/repulsive
  12. dreams too big, makes others who've accepted lot in life look like failures
  13. dumps garbage on property
  14. famous person whose attention, fans, etc. are destroying peace of neighborhood
  15. greedy
  16. inexplicable dislike, sets teeth on edge
  17. irritation
  18. jealous of privilege
  19. jealous of the free, easy life someone has when others have had to work so hard
  20. jealous of their success
  21. maker of annoying jingles that get stuck in peoples' heads
  22. mentally or physically challenged
  23. messenger with bad news
  24. no longer necessary for goal
  25. obnoxious little kid
  26. once famous person who won't shut up about it
  27. out of control animals (loud, killing livestock, pooping in yard, attacking)
  28. overly ambitious
  29. owner of annoying business (loud, smelly)
  30. paparazzi
  31. peeping tom
  32. phobic/unreasonable fear of person
  33. practices or holds opposing beliefs/values (Hummer driver)
  34. recovered from mourning too quickly
  35. represents what someone hates
  36. slob
  37. smug winner
  38. spammer
  39. steals services (water, electricity, gas, phone, cable, internet, etc.)
  40. stinky (e.g., fish monger)
  41. tabloid reporter
  42. taunting/embarrassed on purpose
  43. too happy
  44. too happy that someone died/was punished/suffers
  45. too intelligent/nerdy/know it all
  46. too loud
  47. too lucky
  48. ugly
  49. vain about privileges
  50. weaknesses that are embarrassing
  51. wrong color shoes


murder-instrument.jpgInstrument - Commanded or compelled to; not done for personal reasons toward target, though sometimes done for personal gain (money, regard of god, freedom from being vaporized for not doing it).
  1. directive/must obey (android or other creature programmed/genetically encoded to obey its maker)
  2. fulfill a dying wish or promise
  3. law says to (perhaps ancient laws/rules that don't have a meaning now, just need obeyed)
  4. order from ancestral spirit
  5. ordered to by superiors
  6. ordered to under duress (self or loved one/thing will be harmed or released)
  7. prophecy said to
  8. spell/hypnosis/mind control/chip in head/evil spirit
  9. told to by God/Goddess
  10. tricked into killing person by someone else who made it seem like the right thing to do
  11. voices in head said to


murder-law.jpgLaw - Not personally threatened. Threat is to society. Just a sampling of common reasons for execution or justifications for killing a criminal. Past societies have turned some petty crimes into capital offenses, like cutting down a tree. You can too! Littering? Sure! (Some of the reasons listed under other categories could be turned into laws creating a legal justification for, say, executing someone wearing Nikes instead of Adidas.)
  1. abortionist
  2. adulterer
  3. alien/foreigner
  4. amoral
  5. arsonist/blows up buildings
  6. assassin
  7. assisted suicidist
  8. avenger
  9. behaving in a dangerous-to-others manner
  10. blasphemy
  11. breaker of rules
  12. carrier of infectious disease
  13. criminal who can't be caught or escapes conviction
  14. deformed/mentally or physically challenged
  15. embezzler
  16. escapee from prison
  17. escapee/deserter from group
  18. evil dictator responsible for many deaths
  19. false prophet
  20. fleeing arrest
  21. half breed
  22. illegal business
  23. illegal/forbidden talent/knowledge
  24. indebted
  25. kidnapper
  26. magic user/wizard/sorcerer/witch/psychic/astrologer/fortune teller
  27. mass murderer
  28. member of outlaw/forbidden religion
  29. member of royal line that has been exiled
  30. more children than allowed
  31. murderer
  32. outsider who committed a small crime
  33. pornographer
  34. practices forbidden (magic/scientific/religious/artistic) ways
  35. rapist/sex criminal
  36. resisted arrest
  37. resurrectionist
  38. self-appointed executioner of those who don't deserve to live
  39. slaver
  40. sniper
  41. terrorist
  42. thief/pirate/outlaw
  43. threat to the government/leaders/king
  44. too much/too little intelligence
  45. too old, reached age that law dictates people must die by
  46. touching/looking at one forbidden to touch
  47. unrepentant law breaker
  48. weapons possession
  49. "ruined" according to customs (as warning to others not to do the same)


murder-control.jpgMaintain control - Eliminate threat to own control or way of controlled life. Some seem like punishment or revenge, like killing an escapee, but ultimately it's about providing a little lesson to others thinking along the same lines.
  1. ability to translate some ancient knowledge want kept secret
  2. alien/foreigner in a closed nation (feel threatened by different ideas)
  3. alienating loved ones/followers/customers/fans
  4. amoral person
  5. arrogant, loose cannon who challenges authority
  6. astrologist who gave "wrong" reading (as warning to others not to do the same)
  7. avatar of opposing god
  8. avatar who is speaking the truth of god's wishes that is opposite of what religious leaders have been saying
  9. challenging control
  10. changed beliefs
  11. child born out of wedlock/from unapproved father/from man other than husband
  12. claimant to throne/inheritance/position
  13. conspirant
  14. cryogenically frozen person/embryo who threatens inheritance
  15. cult hero of cult have no control over
  16. cult hero who has become an embarrassment
  17. deflowered the one wanted kept virginal (as message to others who might try)
  18. desecrater of sacred place/person
  19. deserter
  20. disgusting morals
  21. distracting someone from fulfilling duty/prophecy
  22. dreams too big, makes others who've accepted lot in life question
  23. embezzler
  24. embodiment of morals who is amoral (e.g., womanizing priest)
  25. escapee from closed society
  26. ex-spouse who has taken children
  27. famous retired person coming out of retirement (who will gather a following)
  28. follower or outsider who is more talented/more (potentially) powerful/has bigger weapons
  29. freeing those someone wants confined
  30. group member becoming too famous and drawing regard and attention of group members
  31. group member growing in intelligence and questioning what everyone else accepts
  32. has special knowledge that could stop defenses from working/androids or mind-controlled minions from obeying
  33. has special knowledge to revive ancient enemy
  34. helper of runaways
  35. hero with feet of clay (who would disillusion followers)
  36. informant/seller of information
  37. innocent bystander/peeping tom/reporter (covering a different story) who saw/heard incriminating things
  38. keep people fearful
  39. keeping self alive unnaturally (against morals)
  40. last of royal line with claim to throne
  41. leader of faction who is trying to take over
  42. leaders in war who are negotiating for peace that would threaten arms/war magic business
  43. left group/cult when it's forbidden to do so
  44. liberator who will end person's power in a closed society (prison, controlled community)
  45. loner/not a team player
  46. lost in contest/failed at task (as lesson for others who might lose)
  47. lover/bride/groom/spouse of hated being
  48. memorizer of forbidden knowledge
  49. mourner of death that clan/group wants celebrated
  50. murdered to make it look like illegal practices done to person or that took deadly turn were done by unknown murderer
  51. new/rival belief system that will put an end to one's job
  52. obnoxious/amoral/embarrassing/criminal/deformed/untalented/illegally talented/wrong believing family/group member reflecting on others
  53. one who knows person's past and can expose who person really is/as a fraud
  54. one who will awaken power in another (love/sex/knowledge) before it's time/ready to control
  55. painter of amoral pictures/writer of amoral stories
  56. person who could prove an accusation (that would weaken an enemy) is false
  57. practitioner of forbidden knowledge
  58. pregnant with another's child
  59. previous spouse presumed dead who has returned/been resurrected
  60. prove that one still can
  61. raising doubts that could split group apart to put fear into others
  62. random business owner/family member to reinforce power of extortion racket
  63. random person to maintain control through fear and intimidation
  64. rescuer of sacrifices to gods
  65. resistant to being controlled
  66. resurrected holy one who will gather following away from current leaders of religion
  67. returned vanished/"dead" revered leader who will take back leadership
  68. ruler/heir/leader who returned "from the dead"/resurrected from the dead who will gather following
  69. runaway/escapee
  70. seller/distributor of information that is dangerous
  71. spirit of dead leader/ancestor who won't stop meddling
  72. taunting and causing those under control to laugh and question authority
  73. threatening divorce
  74. too intelligent, could discover secret
  75. weds against will of parents/those in control
  76. woman carrying last of royal line with claim to throne
  77. woman pregnant by man unapproved by head of clan/family
  78. innocent photographer who inadvertently shot incriminating photos/video
  79. suicide turned to look like murder to save face/rally followers


murder-mercy.jpgMercy - Put an end to or prevent someone from suffering.
  1. "ruined" according to customs to prevent a life of being shunned/outcast/abused
  2. android/creation who thought they were human/biological but realized they'll never (naturally) die
  3. as an alternative to suicide (which person's religion claims will doom one's soul)
  4. avatar of one god about to be fed as sacrifice to another god
  5. before can become (painful) sacrifice
  6. being tormented with no release
  7. child who would be taunted for being different (half breed)
  8. disgusting habits/repulsive/no fashion sense (person thinks they're putting them out of their misery)
  9. doomed/about to go to fate worse than death
  10. dreams too big in hopeless situation, can only lead to a life of misery
  11. dying slowly and painfully/unpleasantly
  12. escapee from controlled society who can't survive on own and will soon die painful death
  13. forced into marriage
  14. has forbidden/illegal abilities (magic/artistic/mechanical/religious/psychic/alien/alien to group (vision among the blind)) to protect them from torture and execution
  15. has talent desired by enemy/those in control in order to prevent them from exploiting person
  16. hero who has been weakened by enemy/lost what made him/her heroic to prevent followers from becoming demoralized
  17. immortal who won't naturally die but can be killed (who is in pain, injuries that won't heal, etc.)
  18. in pain (from disease)
  19. infested by disease/aliens/alien devices
  20. insane
  21. intelligence growing beyond ability to relate to others/falling beyond ability to care for self
  22. kept alive as a resource/food/incubator/egg sac/body parts
  23. kept alive unnaturally/against will
  24. loser in a contest/competition/task before they're tortured as an example to others
  25. overthrown child heir/ruler before enemy can kill to eliminate any rivalry for throne
  26. physical or mental vegetable
  27. physically damaged
  28. physically or mentally challenged
  29. predestined to die in a horrible way or become evil
  30. prevent someone from having a secret tortured/drugged/spelled out of them
  31. sold into slavery/prostitution
  32. transforming into something else
  33. under unremovable enchantment
  34. zombie/living dead/vampire/werewolf


murder-personalgain.jpgPersonal gain - To gain status or benefit through, often any target will do.
  1. #100
  2. anger/convenient outlet for negative emotions
  3. as a distraction to stop an event or draw attention away from something else
  4. as a substitute for person was assigned to kill
  5. as a test to challenge a detective
  6. assigned target in job as assassin/done for money
  7. become them and live their life
  8. being whose death is required proof (dragon/demon etc.) that one (still) has what it takes to hold title
  9. best warrior to test self against
  10. blockade to advancement
  11. business owner in order to take over their business
  12. business owner in order to take over their customers
  13. cannibalistic practices/to gain their power by eating them
  14. criminal/own group member who committed a crime wanted by group want to maintain peace with
  15. dying too slowly for those who would benefit from death
  16. evil ruler/ruler one strongly disagrees with so new one will be found
  17. famous person to become infamous for having killed them
  18. fits some profile of group an insane person is trying to eliminate/punish
  19. for food/to process for food
  20. for fun/felt like it
  21. for some part of body that's needed (magical body part/ingredient for spell/use in an experiment)
  22. gain regard of those in control by eliminating one they find threatening
  23. heir to fortune so will be split fewer ways
  24. heir to throne to take heir's position
  25. heir who will or is squandering a fortune
  26. inherit their money
  27. inherit their position
  28. make a statement -- Kat F.
  29. make the world a better place -- Kat F.
  30. marry their spouse (for love/gain their property/power/influence)
  31. obsession that one can't possess or who spurned
  32. on a dare
  33. paragon, long retired, who others never stopped comparing replacement to
  34. part of advancement to next level to kill fellow students
  35. person forcing loved one into marriage
  36. person loved one's family wants him/her to marry
  37. person who caused strict rules on all to be imposed
  38. person who will satisfy masses as being the criminal sought, to gain public confidence and praise
  39. possess something (loved one/property/possession/title/business) that rival has always wanted
  40. possess their home/land
  41. possesses something murder feels should rightly be his/hers
  42. powerful/intelligent person to prove more powerful/intelligent
  43. prove that one can
  44. replace with copy/imitation/pretender/actor
  45. resurrect previous leader to regain power
  46. return person to spotlight
  47. rival for belief system to be accepted as authority
  48. rival for translation of ancient manuscript so can twist meaning of it
  49. sacrifice to a god for good favor/prevent bad favor
  50. set someone else up as the murderer
  51. spouse (who won't divorce) so can marry another
  52. stop something being sold to someone who would ruin it/mistreat it
  53. strike fear into those who thought themselves well protected
  54. test weapon on
  55. to gain their power through killing them
  56. too smart person who is ruining the grade curve
  57. usurper (to take control)
  58. wanted person for bounty
  59. woman tricking loved one into marriage with claim of pregnancy
  60. won't tell secret (to frighten others who also won't tell)
  61. wouldn't agree to political/business arrangement (want to get someone who will agree into negotiating position)
  62. wrong sex baby


Remove obstacle - Someone, often deliberately, who's blocking “rightful" progress.
  1. ancient ruler who won't change for the times, rules as though society hasn't changed
  2. android/creature/computer programmed to enforce ancient laws that no longer apply
  3. boss who won't allow to advance
  4. controller of needed scarce resources (medicine, water, food, air, protection against something deadly in the environment ...)
  5. guard
  6. holder of information/material/object needed to complete own project
  7. holding onto old ways, holding others back
  8. in way of heart's desire
  9. one preventing rebuilding of sacred place
  10. roadblock between people and king
  11. someone who would stop one from completing an objective
  12. standing in way of goal
  13. standing in way of progress
  14. suppressor of knowledge/progress


Revenge - Just a sampling. Many of the reasons listed under other categories could be for revenge if they're changed to the past tense.
  1. abandoned as a child
  2. abused self or loved one as a child
  3. accuser who ruined life
  4. adulterous spouse
  5. always got best grades, best girl/boy friends, awards
  6. banished
  7. betrayed group
  8. betrayed personal trust
  9. bigamist
  10. broke up family
  11. brought [the person who kills him/her] back to life as an experiment (gave new body)
  12. created person against his/her will
  13. deceived
  14. descendent of one wanted revenge on
  15. desecrated one wanted kept virginal (in revenge for spoiling plans)
  16. deserted group to fend for self
  17. destroyed or responsible for destroying (e.g., made decisions) family/clan/way of life
  18. destroyed what one values (dams Venice, blocks view from home)
  19. distracted someone from fulfilling duty/prophecy
  20. dumped for someone else
  21. embarrassed (accidentally)
  22. exploited young and talented
  23. exposed secrets
  24. failed to promote a career properly and ruined life
  25. family member of one wanted revenge on
  26. harmed loved one (physically or mentally)
  27. humiliated
  28. ingenue who ousted from limelight
  29. internment camp leader
  30. liberator who brought person's power in a closed society (prison, controlled community) to an end
  31. lover who spurned
  32. pay back for insult
  33. possesses something that rival/hated one always wanted (loved one/property/possession/title/business)
  34. prevented suicide (causing life of pain, loss of face for family)
  35. prosecutor who ruined life
  36. rejected (love, creation, job application)
  37. responsible for death/destruction/betrayal/loss of reputation
  38. rival who won (see Rival list for a few ideas)
  39. seduced into criminal activities as a young child
  40. shunned
  41. spouse who is an android/something other than what he/she led others to believe who has deceived all these years
  42. stole idea and became successful with it
  43. stole spouse
  44. surrendered, which brought demise of group
  45. teacher who gave a bad grade/prevented from advancing or continuing or participating in other activities because grades are too low
  46. tormented during childhood
  47. turncoat spy
  48. turned down marriage proposal
  49. usurped throne (to punish)
  50. warlord/barbarian who destroyed family
  51. winner of battle/contest


Rival, eliminate - Opponent, enemy, competitor. Not even an attempt at being an exhaustive list of rivals someone might want eliminated.
  1. cheater
  2. current holder of title/position so can advance or take position for self
  3. first to achieve something
  4. keeper of rival sacred place
  5. loved one of rival to infect corpse with deadly disease
  6. more charming sibling/parent/friend who stole all boyfriends/girlfriends
  7. new business in area had exclusive control
  8. other ghost competing to haunt a place
  9. rival "chosen one"/"savior"
  10. rival artist (painter, sculptor, writer ...)
  11. rival assassin
  12. rival astrologist vying to publish official horoscope/be leader's astrologist
  13. rival at sports
  14. rival bounty hunter
  15. rival buys vying for same limited product
  16. rival conspirator (of other conspiracy)
  17. rival counterfeiter
  18. rival crime boss
  19. rival cult hero
  20. rival curser who curses same targets
  21. rival drug dealer/supplier
  22. rival elemental
  23. rival embezzler at same company
  24. rival evil dictator
  25. rival faction leader vying for control
  26. rival fake avatar/avatar of competing god
  27. rival for exploration of best archaeological sites
  28. rival for interpretation/translation of scholarly/religious/ancient writings/holy writings
  29. rival for job/position/title
  30. rival for love/affection/attention of another
  31. rival for most pure to be dedicated to god
  32. rival for power over sphere of influence
  33. rival for rebuilding revered landmark
  34. rival fortune teller (using same ways or rival/new fangled ways)
  35. rival game master (chess, go)
  36. rival gang leader
  37. rival heir to throne
  38. rival high level thief after same items
  39. rival hunter/predator
  40. rival liberator wanting to gain credit for liberation
  41. rival mathematician/inventor/scientist
  42. rival of other rebel group
  43. rival outlaw religion leader
  44. rival outside influence on isolated people (e.g., religious, political, scientific group trying to help them see new ways)
  45. rival performers in circus
  46. rival psychic
  47. rival reformer
  48. rival religious leader
  49. rival seller of information/stolen information
  50. rival shop keeper
  51. rival spy of other faction/business who's spying is interfering with own spying
  52. rival superhero
  53. rival terrorist from another terrorist group after same targets
  54. rival to kill someone for revenge/have been seeking for a long time
  55. rival weapons dealer/supplier
  56. rival who just gained a big advantage
  57. rival who subscribes to different way of casting magic
  58. rival with unfair advantage (very wealthy, very smart, very talented, magic, technology)
  59. rival wives/pregnancies/husbands
  60. rival wizard/magic user/witch/sorcerer


Rival, weaken - Killing the rival wouldn't be sporting. Murderer just wants the outcome tipped in his/her favor. At whatever cost.
  1. arms dealer/manufacturer/importer/smuggler
  2. assassin for rival
  3. avatar of rival
  4. best protector of rival/opponent to not only weaken defense by demoralize
  5. create a martyr to the cause
  6. eliminate a rallying point for rebel group
  7. famous spokesperson for rival
  8. guardian who keeps some threat to rival in check
  9. has special knowledge needed by rival (for defenses/weapon/skills)
  10. hero of enemy
  11. holder of information/material/object needed to complete rival project
  12. holds a secret or important/powerful information to prevent rival from getting
  13. leader of group who won't form an alliance against rival (to intimidate or get new leader)
  14. leader of rival group
  15. leader/morale booster returning/coming out of retirement to help rival
  16. magic user/wizard/sorcerer/witch/psychic/astrologer/fortune teller for opponent
  17. mercenary spy
  18. messenger of rival
  19. military expert/strategist for opposition
  20. photographer who won't turn over incriminating photos/video about rival
  21. political power for opposition
  22. power behind opposing beliefs/values (greenie, PETA)
  23. primary inventor for military/business opposition
  24. primary religious leader of opponent
  25. prophet/false prophet who supports rival
  26. prove someone isn't immortal
  27. resurrect previous leader of enemy group to cause division
  28. sacrifice meant for rival's god
  29. sidekick/partner/loved one/dedicated follower to punish leader
  30. source of rival's power/wealth
  31. spy
  32. spy to replace with own spy
  33. stabilizing influence in rival group who keeps them from infighting
  34. suicide made to look like murder done by rivals
  35. supporter of rival faction vying for control
  36. supporter/minion of evil person
  37. up and coming ingenue
  38. vendetta (for ongoing feud)
  39. weaken leader's (see Rival, weaken) power so oppressed people will rise up and overthrow
  40. well-spoken vocal opponent
  41. woman carrying heir/infant heir of dying leader of opposition
  42. "immortal"/"Omniscient"/seer to prove they aren't
  43. (inadvertently) calling attention to those who want to lay low


Stop threat - Threat is to safety and security or way of life rather than threat to control. Could be done by a person without power in the society, who sees something that threatens to change their way of life. Think the flamboyant hippie family who has moved into an ultra conservative neighborhood that the children are eying with interest. (Or are the hippie children eying the new conservative neighbors?) Murderer will return to regular life, not take on power or control. (See also reasons under Law and Maintain control.)
  1. about to betray group
  2. about to uncover long lost secret/object that will threaten self/loved ones/family/clan/group/culture/religion
  3. abuser of animals
  4. abuser of power (from king to police officer to head of gang or family)
  5. abusive of self/loved one/weaker ones
  6. acting above station
  7. amnesiac who knew secrets before memories come back
  8. android who is malfunctioning
  9. assassin about to strike at self or loved one
  10. avatar of opposing god
  11. before can become sacrifice (and release god's power)
  12. behaving in a dangerous-to-others manner
  13. bewitcher/sorceress/enchantress, someone who controls with charm, charisma and magic
  14. blackmailer
  15. blasphemous person
  16. breeder of monsters
  17. briber
  18. bringer of change and "advancement" to simple people
  19. brutal
  20. bully coach/teacher/mentor
  21. butler (because the butler always did it) -- Kat F.
  22. carrier of disease
  23. child of monster/devil/demon
  24. child who could be embarrassing if found out
  25. chosen one/preordained
  26. clan leader taking clan against tradition
  27. clone
  28. compulsive nature destroying family/reputation
  29. controlling leader/master
  30. controls a monster
  31. corrupt political person
  32. corrupt religious person
  33. corrupter
  34. creator of protection (device, spell, sutras) against predator (vampire, aliens, demon, mental controller)
  35. creepy, strange, makes nervous
  36. criminal a long time ago who has been punished and repented
  37. cruel dungeon/game master
  38. cult leader
  39. currently humiliating
  40. dancer/singer where it's forbidden
  41. defiler of sacred place
  42. deformed/mutant (child)
  43. demon hunter/vampire slayer/bounty hunter/exorcist
  44. demon/angel, opposing being
  45. destroyer of what one values (dams Venice, blocks view from home)
  46. destroying or is responsible for destroying
  47. developer ready to destroy land
  48. did or let someone else do something forbidden
  49. different (seems to threaten comfortable conformity)
  50. disband their political/religious following, end cult of personality
  51. discoverer of what some want to remain lost
  52. disguised to protect secret and live in peace (opposite gender, other race, other species)
  53. dresses weird/against gender type
  54. drug dealer/manufacturer/importer/smuggler
  55. embarrassment to family
  56. escaped experiment
  57. ex-spouse who has taken children
  58. excess child beyond number allowed
  59. executioner/interrogator who likes his/her job too much
  60. exorcist
  61. exposer of secrets
  62. extortionist
  63. false prophet
  64. follower of forbidden ways
  65. fortune teller/seer/mystic/telepath who seems able to find out too much
  66. gambler who caused indebtedness
  67. gives birth to demons/monsters
  68. God of Death
  69. grave robber/desecrater
  70. group member becoming too famous, bring attention to group who wants to stay unnoticed
  71. half breed
  72. has incriminating evidence
  73. hated being who is seducing loved one
  74. holder of information/material/object needed to complete (threatening) project
  75. hunter of endangered species
  76. hunter of kind
  77. hysterical (in a deadly situation when calm is needed)
  78. idiot/stupid
  79. incompetent healer
  80. incompetent in position where lives are at stake
  81. infectious
  82. infested by disease/aliens/alien devices
  83. influenced by drug/disease/spell
  84. invader of home/country
  85. kidnapper
  86. knows a secret (though may not realize it)
  87. knows secret of what keeps society protected
  88. knows too much
  89. last of hated race
  90. law enforcer executing people who satisfy crowd rather than tracking down true criminal
  91. leader of belief system that will be accepted as authority
  92. lover who could be embarrassing if found out
  93. magic user/wizard/sorcerer/witch/psychic/astrologer/fortune teller
  94. magical being
  95. mass murderer
  96. mastermind behind evil
  97. member of outlaw/forbidden religion
  98. mentally damaged because person is imperfect or because they're dangerous
  99. messenger with life altering news
  100. misleading followers
  101. monster/vampire/werewolf/demon
  102. morose/downer/dragger down of morale when needs kept up if chance of survival
  103. mortal in immortal world
  104. mystic/paranormal/psychic/abnormal abilities
  105. new/rival belief system that will bring an end to current way of living
  106. next in line for position who would be dangerous (incompetent/controlled/bad or evil beliefs)
  107. ninja/incredible deadly skills
  108. no longer competent to lead
  109. object of obsession who is becoming threatening
  110. obsessed/obsessed fan
  111. old, feeble, sickly, dependent, drain on society
  112. one who holds gambling debts of self/loved ones
  113. one who would (unknowingly) release a great evil
  114. opposing nature makes another ill
  115. outsider/unwanted type who will bring property values down
  116. owner of "ugly" business in a nice/family neighborhood
  117. part of a prophecy want to stop
  118. participants in a deadly game/deadly initiation rite
  119. perfect copy/replacement/pretender
  120. person leading loved one astray
  121. person trained to be a weapon/killing machine
  122. poisonous to others/environment
  123. poor/orphaned/abandoned/sick drain on society
  124. possessed by evil spirit/devil/demon
  125. possessor of esoteric knowledge (like an exorcist) that could stop someone
  126. possessor of evil soul
  127. potential betrayer of criminal/avenger who can't be caught
  128. predator
  129. predestined to murder self/loved one
  130. pregnant with demon/opposing god's child
  131. preserve/protect loved one/family/home/clan/culture/society/religion
  132. pretender (alien, shapeshifter) for nefarious purposes
  133. pretender (different class/race/sex) trying to fit in
  134. promoter of belief system that would take away certain rights
  135. prosecutor who could win case
  136. protest leader
  137. prover that religion/leader is wrong
  138. pulling away from family
  139. radical
  140. raising doubts that could split group apart in order to silence them
  141. rebuilder of what was deliberately destroyed (to eliminate an evil)
  142. rebuilder of what was deliberately destroyed (to preserve a controlled way of life)
  143. reincarnated evil person
  144. repossessor
  145. returned vanished/"dead" revered leader who isn't as great as memory has it
  146. rising above class
  147. rocking the boat
  148. secret past that threatens present peace
  149. seeker of truth
  150. sellers of illegal copies of artistic work
  151. soul stealer
  152. spouse/child/parent who controls
  153. spouse/friend of loved one who is wrong race/religion/sex/species/class
  154. spreader of lies
  155. spreading family/corporate/country/personal/group/gang/clan secrets
  156. stalker
  157. stole secret recipe/formula -- Kat F.
  158. stop a reform
  159. stop an invention (that would change way of life)
  160. stop something being sold to someone who would use it for evil
  161. stop something/someone being sold to someone who would mistreat it
  162. suer
  163. summoner
  164. tax collector
  165. teacher/possessor of forbidden knowledge
  166. tempter from/to paradise
  167. threatens harm
  168. time traveler changing time
  169. tormentor (of self/loved one/others)
  170. transforming into something dangerous
  171. translation ability of some ancient knowledge want kept secret
  172. translator of some ancient knowledge (before his/her work is revealed)
  173. trespassing in home or on private property
  174. trying to control or take over control
  175. trying to revive an evil that group fought hard to eradicate
  176. ultimate warrior
  177. uncovers hidden secrets (detective)
  178. unlucky person
  179. upstream person dumping poison into stream
  180. violence induced by drug/disease/magic/curse/mutation
  181. waffling in beliefs
  182. will complete some society damaging device
  183. will resurrect/resurrected and controls ancient demon/god
  184. worships wrong god/evil god/enemy of god
  185. writer/publisher of dangerous ideas


Copyright 2006, 2014 by Joyce A. Fetteroll. Feel free to share provided the text is not altered in any way, and this copyright notice is attached. (Originally published 23 September 2006.