Tag Archives: Fight Club

What Makes a Good Bad Guy? Part 2: Turning the “Shadow” into flesh and blood

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

Not much since last week (maybe this is why I don’t post more frequently 🙂 )

I submitted a short story to another market I’m excited about. Deadline is end of March. Send out those good thoughts for me.

And finally got started on edits for my next novel.  It’s slow going, but I’m optimistic.

But now, without further ado…

What Makes a Good Bad Guy? Part 2: Turning the “Shadow” into flesh and blood

Image from Flickr Creative Commons

Image from Flickr Creative Commons

In Part One of this article, I discussed the theory that one possible reason so many writers (and readers/viewers, for that matter) enjoy the character of the “bad guy” is because he/she/it represents what Swiss psychologist Carl Jung called the Shadow archetype, our opposite side of the Self we project to others.

However, while the Shadow may be the opposite of the Self, it is not completely alien. A well-crafted villain has to have something to which we can relate. They can’t be the nefarious, mustache-twisting man in black who does evil (read: eee-vul) just for the sake of evil. Well, they can be that villain, but then there’s less internal conflict in the minds of your readers. If you can create a “bad guy” that people actually like, they’re going to have a harder time doing the easy thing: cheering for the hero. Continue reading


Survival Plan or Cyanide Pill: Which would you choose?

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

The main thing going on currently is the Somewhere in the Shadows giveaway which is going for 14 more days.  This is a pretty good one.  The top winner will receive all books from all of the contributing authors for Somewhere in the Shadows.  It’s a Rafflecopter giveaway, which means you can get multiple entries for various reasons (i.e.- following the authors on Twitter, tweeting about the contest, following their blogs, etc…)

To enter the giveaway, click here

To read my foreword and a brief review of Somewhere in the Shadows, click here.

But without further ado…

So I had an interesting conversation with a colleague the other day.

Actually, it was my wife and I who were having the conversation with a fellow faculty member at lunch when the topic of the end of the world came up.  Yeah, it was a weird lunch, and I’m not sure how we ended up on that topic.  I think it was when my wife asked the history teacher if it was just our current state of the world that seemed so polarized, or if mankind had cycled through this type of mentality like it cycled through so many other things.

castleTowerOr maybe it was when the history teacher mentioned the planned community known as The Citadel in Idaho.  For a simple description of what this community (read: “compound”) will be about, there is a banner at the top of their website saying “Get an Assault Rifle before it’s too late.” Continue reading

So the World Didn’t End. Are You Disappointed?

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

Just plugging along.  The time away from the blog and focusing on my WIP has been productive, both in word count and enthusiasm level.  Plus, with my hectic schedule, writing really has been catch-as-catch-can, which I figure is good practice for doing it professionally.  Never knowing for sure when I’m going to get a good writing session in, I’ve had to eliminate the ritual aspect of the craft in favor of just getting down to it whenever a moment presents itself (either getting up at 4:30 in the morning, or on those rare moments when both of my children take a nap at the same time).

Unfortunately, when he looks like this, I feel like this.

Unfortunately, when he looks like this, I feel like this.

Otherwise, I had a fun interview I did for Tara Maya’s blog.  She was one of the other authors (besides myself) in Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies.  If you get a chance and want to learn more about me, check it out by clicking here.

What does the future hold?

I’m debating axing this regular section of my blog for two reasons.  One, with everything going on in my outside-of-writing life right now, I can’t guarantee the regularity with which I’ve posted in the past.  Two, do any of you really count on this section of my blog and mark your calendars based on it?  Feel free to comment with your opinion.

But without further ado…

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by a woman named Allison Morris.  She had come across my post, End of the World Stories We Love to Hate, and sent me a graphic she helped create on a timeline of failed apocalypse predictions (well, one still remains to be seen).  Continue reading