We’re halfway through November, and some writers participating in NaNoWriMo already know how their novels will end. But just because we might have an ending, the story isn’t finished. Work must be done to fill in the gaps and add depth.
One character archetype that is critical to any story is the villain. Yet the negative energy of a story is often less developed, two-dimensional.
In his book, The Writer’s Journey, Mythic Structure for Writers, Christopher Vogler discusses how the villain of a piece represents the shadow. The villain provides the momentum of the dark side, and their influence on the protagonist must be fully explored.
The shadow character serves several purposes.
- He/she/it is usually the main antagonist and represents darkness (evil) against which light (good) is shown more clearly.
- The shadow, whether a person, place, or thing, provides the roadblocks, the reason the protagonist must struggle.
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