If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I read an interesting article extolling authors to break the established rules of writing. One of the suggestions was to pen something in third person omnipotent  Right. There was a very, very good reason this style fell out of favor in the last century. Those who attempted it usually made a mess and ended up wildly head hopping and leaving the reader spinning. An example of how this should be done and usually wasn’t is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien. Now that was a shining example of excellence.

Another suggestion was to write a book about an antagonist. Really? How can a reader bond properly with a bad guy? Does anyone really want to be a cheer leader for Hannibal Lecter? Yes, the character was fascinating, but would anyone weep buckets if he happened to croak?  Nope. This was a suggestion that was almost good and missed by a gnat’s whisker. An antagonist should have hopes, wants, wishes and needs. He/she should also have some redeeming features, whether it is a love of cats, or a kindness to those less fortunate. Without the redeeming features, he/she will not be as effective, or as real and scary. It also holds true that the protagonist should have a few flaws. Perfect Percy is boring. Give him some warts to liven him up.

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