Back when I was in college in the early aughts, I took a short fiction writing class with one of my favorite lit professors, Dr. Olin-Hitt. The biggest takeaway from his class was that in order to write a good story, you need trouble. Because conflict is interesting. No one wants to read a story about someone who just woke up and had a perfect day and then went to bed, because that would be incredibly dull. When it comes to keeping your readers' attention, you want to make sure you've got interesting characters facing compelling challenges. As Aristotle was fond of reminding us, when we experience a tale full of struggle, we can experience catharsis.
If trouble is an indicator for a good story, then man, my new book project is a doozy. It's basically a book about one very confused, very angry, very lost woman making a string of incredibly bad decisions. Because bad decisions make great stories. I'm sure you're running through a list of examples in your head right now, both from fiction and real life. The heroine of my new novel is many wonderful things, but it's her dark side that makes her really, really interesting - to me at least.
It's become super popular to tell stories that focus on the villain, or antihero. You've probably watched and been a fan of at least one of them - Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Gone Girl, the list goes on. Which have you been the most addicted to?