Tag Archives: Joseph Campbell

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

What Makes a Good Bad Guy? Part 1: Hate the sin. Love the sinner.

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

After much longer than I had originally intended, the print copy of The Imaginings is actually a print copy… kind of.  Currently in the proofing stage, but it was pretty cool to be able to hold my first novel in my hands, to be able to flip through the pages.

Click here for a sneak peek at the cover.

Click above for a sneak peek at the cover.

Shouldn’t be long now. I’ll keep you posted.

Still shopping around a couple short stories that I’m pretty excited about.  Now just hoping to find a publisher who will agree.

Also working on the early stages of a couple other stories as well.

And, uh… ahem… yeah… still trying to get started on the edits for my next novel.

But now, without further ado…

The following is a re-print of a piece I wrote a couple years ago for Suite101, a site for informative articles of a myriad nature. This article was under their “creative writing” section, but I tried to make it entertaining to the average reader as well. The result was a two-part piece that reads much like Stephen King’s On Writing.

Not that I consider myself on par with Stephen King or anything.

In fact, I’ll take this moment to officially purport neither to be an expert in this field or a strict follower in my own writing of all of the things I suggest here all of the time. Continue reading