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March 7, 2017

@lsfabre #Motivating the #Villain #mfrworg #amwriting #amreading

In more than one of the many writing classes I completed, the instructor would note at some point, “the villain is the hero of his own story,” the antagonist has as strong a motivation as that of the hero. In the opponent’s mind, what’s behind his/her actions is as compelling and just and right—albeit sometimes quite twisted—as that of the hero or heroine’s. This point is usually followed with a reminder to give the villain a chance to explain his/her deeds. A number of ways exist to do this:

- The story can switch between the villain’s and hero’s point of view
- A character may share what they know of the villain’s life to describe events that shaped him/her into the antihero
- Giving the villain a chance to explain their world view to the hero—usually while holding the hero or heroine at bay with a gun, bomb, or other weapon and often as part of the climax

In the two recently released stories, I chose the third method for both.

In my recently re-released Russian thriller, Saving Hope, the villain is someone the heroine trusted, and she finds herself negotiating with him to save her daughter’s life. At one point, he explains his actions as:

“I thought I finally had all I wanted, but you ran away. When I saw you with Ahmed and those other men, I knew I had to fight for you, or lose you again. I was the one who told them about the FSB. It almost cost me my deal.”

In “The Case of the Tainted Blood,” my alternate universe Sherlock Holmes tale, the detective and Dr. Watson search for a murderer in a world inhabited by vampyres. When they discover him, he describes the wrong he sees himself as correcting:

“How ever did we come to this point? Two species fighting for control of the planet? Especially when you consider your species was our species only a few years ago. And what has yours accomplished? Stagnation and decay. Nothing has been created or achieved except the hunting of all mammals almost to extinction. And what will become of the world once extinction is achieved? What will your species do then? You may live forever, but where? And how? Revert to caves and learn to live on reptilian blood? It is the humans that created civilization. What will your species contribute?”


Story conflict arises from a villain’s strong motivation, which puts his/her actions in direct opposition to the hero or heroine’s. The more the two characters believe their cause is the only true one, the higher the conflict and the more tension in the story. Giving the villain a chance to tell his story ups the stakes for both.


Can you think of a story or movie you seen or read lately that had a compelling villain? What was the motivation behind him/her? Any favorite villains? Hannibal Lector comes to mind....

About Liese Sherwood-Fabre:

Awarding-winning author Liese Sherwood-Fabre grew up in Dallas, Texas and knew she was destined to write when she got an A+ in the second grade for her story about Dick, Jane, and Sally’s ruined picnic. After obtaining her PhD from Indiana University, she joined the federal government and had the opportunity to work and live internationally for more than fifteen years—in Africa, Latin America, and Russia. Returning to the states, she seriously pursued her writing career and has recently published several pieces: a non-fiction essay collection on Victorian England--The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes--a thriller set in Russia--Saving Hope--and a short story, "The Case of the Tainted Blood" in the anthology Curious Incidents: More Improbable Tales.

Her books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and ebookmall

February 28, 2017

A Texas Girl dishes on Life in the Rockies by Karilyn Bentley #TWRP

I'm trying something different today. Instead of talking about my dogs in the Tales from the Crate blogs, I'm going to talk about Life in the Rockies. Why? Because, almost a year ago, The Hubster and I moved our family of one dog and various fish, corals and other critters in a salt water fish tank (almost all of which died during the move, the fish and critters, that is, not The Kraken or the corals) from North Texas to the Colorado Rockies. Needless to say, things are a bit different up here, and I'm not talking about the Rocky Mountain High. So, in case you are interested, here is a list of things I've learned since our move. 


1. Altitude takes awhile to get used to. Become accustomed to gasping for breath while walking anywhere. Having an upper respiratory infection makes this worse (as a side note, don't go skiing with a URI lest you find yourself suddenly unable to breath while hurtling down the side of a mountain. Just saying).

February 16, 2017

Freaky Weather Follies #MFRWorg #whatsupinyourneighborhood #winterblues




When we think of winter in North America, we think cold—right? At least for most of us and even then, there’s the weird stuff like the blizzard a while back in Georgia. Usually, the days are cold here, the heater is on to warm my feet, a light wool sweater, long sleeves. When going outdoors, I add a coat layer, gloves, and a scarf.




This year has been so different. What I described above was the norm until we hit mid-Jan. But no snow or ice, just a scare. A big rain and little drizzle stuff. Since, we’ve been experiencing early Spring, despite the groundhog’s prediction. Leaves from the bulbs are pushing through the ground. The shrubs and fruit trees are budding. My early predictor is my flowering quince which has been blooming for three weeks now—with bees.
Doesn’t seem normal.

February 7, 2017

Michelle Miles: 1001 Movies

There’s a really cool book called 1001 Movies. I have it. Because I’m a dork like that. The book is 960 pages of Moviedom, complete with a handy checklist at the front.  (It also helped the cover has Indiana Jones on it – my first true love.)

I spent two hours perusing it. It’s jam-packed with photos, a little synopsis of each movie and opinions by contributions, starting with a silent movie released in 1902: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (a.k.a. A Trip To The Moon). I can personally say I’ve never laid eyes on this movie but there are some iconic pictures that are widely recognizable. The Moon with the missile-like spaceship right in its eye, for example. According to the book, the movie “represents a revolution for the time” and clocks in at only 14 minutes. But at the turn of the century, there weren’t movie theaters like what we have today.

January 31, 2017

February - The Month of Love

February is huge for me. I have four books coming out. Am I crazy? Yes, sometimes I honestly think I am. But I am so excited about this new series. 

When Krystal Shannon asked me for an original story to put in her autism box set, I thought I had no ideas. Then I remembered. Several years ago I wrote a short story called Return to Cupid, Texas and I decided to go back to that little town. Once I started writing, the ideas started pouring in and now this little seed has grown to six books. Return to Cupid, Texas will have new stories unfolding for the next three months. 


But wait...the month starts off with the next Kindle World I'm writing in. A science fiction adventure set in Magic, New Mexico - which is author S.E. Smith's world.

Touch of Deceit comes out February 2nd and there are no links because it's in a Kindle World and they drop everyone's books at the same time. If you enjoy witches and aliens, you'll like the story of Petuna and Jaqarg. A witch who wants revenge. An alien with a Secret. A magic mirror that reveals true love. Come join the adventure. 

January 19, 2017

Having a conversation @VickiBatman #foreignlanguage #makingfriends #MFRWorg





Recently, I was out of town with Handsome. While he was attending to business, I waited for him in the lobby. I stuck in my headphones to listen to Chris Botti and began embroidering a special gift. As he was ushered back, a man across the way said something like "you don't go?"

Since I wasn't sure I heard him correctly, I took out my earbuds and walked over to him. He was an elderly guy and having men in my life who couldn't hear well, I am a little sensitive in talking with people so they can hear. I said, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you."

He pointed in the direction Handsome had gone and said, "Don't go?"


I must have looked puzzled. "No. It's okay to wait."

He asked, "You speak Spanish?"

January 3, 2017

Michelle Miles: Bring it on, 2017


Another year as come and gone and most of us are happy 2016 is in the rearview mirror. The celebrity world lost a lot of great entertainers this year and, well...it sucked. I’m still reeling after the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. It was like seeing my childhood flash before my eyes.

But I don’t want to dwell on that. I want to look forward instead of back and thinking about the future year ahead. We have just over 360 days to make it a great year.

I’m really not into making resolutions but I do like to set goals for the year. Last year my big goal was completing, editing and publishing IN THE TOWER OF THE WIZARD KING. I also wanted to re-release some of my titles that had reverted to me from a previous publisher. I’m happy to report I was able to release all five of them and relieved to be out from under that horrible publisher. You can catch all the REALM OF HONOR titles and WIZARD KING at your favorite retailer. *shameless plug*