Link Feast For Writers, vol. 45: Antagonist Special

Blog posts are a fun and fast way to learn about writing and marketing our books.

Here’s a smorgasbord of links for you. The chef recommends this week’s special, the dark and conflicting section of the menu. Bon appetit!


On Writing

3 Writer’s Commandments and the Dreaded “S” Word by Jenny Hansen

Three Phases of Becoming a Master Author by Kristen Lamb

6 Ways to Write Every Day by Karen Woodward

5 Unexpected Lessons From Inside the Iowa Writer’s Workshop by Dina Nayeri

Being Profilic by David Farland

Changing the World One Story At a Time, Part 1 by David Farland

Changing the World One Story At a Time, Part 2 by David Farland

Idea vs. Concept by Larry Brooks

How to Develop Any Idea Into a Great Story by Elizabeth Sims

Character Development Tricks by Sheldon at Dramaticapedia

Creating Emotional Frustration In Your Characters by Rachel Scheller

Different Kind of Story Openings: Shock and Seduction by Karen Woodward

7 Reasons Agents Stop Reading Your First Chapter by Livia Blackburne

Storyteller’s Rulebook: Beware of Instant Conflict by Matt Bird

How to Organize Time For a Dramatic Story by Michael Rabiger & Mick Hurbis Cherrier

5 Ways to Practice the Art of Double Duty Writing by Susan Squires

Don’t Be an Information Dumper by Don McNair

Storyteller’s Rulebook: Add an OMFG Scene by Matt Bird

Jawing About Writing and Writing About Jaws by Sharla Rae

Series vs. Stand-Alone: What Should We Work On Next? by Jami Gold

The Rules of Romantic Comedy by Karen Woodward

What Is Urban Fantasy Anyway? by Emma Newman

Do You Make These 5 Surprising Short Story Mistakes? (Writer’s Relief)


Writing the Antagonist

Structure Part 3: Introducing the Opposition by Kristen Lamb

Scene Antagonists and Big Boss Troublemakers by Kristen Lamb

What Makes a Great Villain? by Alexandra Sokoloff

Villains: The Forces of Antagonism by Alexandra Sokoloff

Make Your Antagonist a Force For Good by Jami Gold

12 Tips On How To Write Antagonists Your Readers Will Love To Hate by Karen Woodward

Not All Villains Are the Heroes of Their Own Stories by Matt Bird

The Language of the Corrupted by Matt Bird


Book Marketing

Platform Is Craft by Dan Blank

The Dirty Secret of Author Platform (Hint: It’s Difficult) by Dan Blank

Mark Coker, Founder Of Smashwords: Six Ways To Increase Book Sales by Karen Woodward

12 Ideas For Email Updates You’ll Actually Enjoy Writing by Toni at DuoLit

Before Publishing Your eBook: A 3 Month Checklist by Laura Pepper Wu

(Note: This is a product plug. This ebook sounds really useful, and the previous books of Laura have been high quality. But make up your own mind.)

Book Marketing: 9 Activities to Boost Your Author Career by Dana Sitar

Where Can Authors Advertise for the B&N, Apple, and Kobo Stores? by Lindsay Buroker



Four Steps To a Winning Query by Gabriela Pereira

Amazon KDP Select: Is It Worthwhile For Authors? by C.J. Lyons

Amazon Buys Goodreads: What Does It Mean for Authors and Readers? by Dan Blank

Business Rusch: The Logic Behind Self Publishing by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The New World of Publishing: The Assumption of Agents by Dean Wesley Smith

Self-Publishing in 30 Minutes and 50 Seconds by Joel Friedlander



The Changing Nature of Blogging For Fiction Writers by Jody Hedlund

5 Ways to Improve Your Blog Today by Dino Dogan

21 Critical Tasks to Perform As Soon As You Start a Blog by Ramsay at Blog Tyrant

How to Blog Like You Mean to Change the World by Justine Musk

Don’t Let the Well Run Dry: Content Strategy and Your Blog by Liz Bauman

The Art of Keeping Your Audience Coming Back For More by Robert Bruce

Recycle Your Blog Content: 3 Ways to Re-Feature Popular Articles on Your Site by Chris Robley

3 SEO Myths That Scare Writers (And How You Can Use Them to Your Advantage) by Alexis Grant

Google Reader Alternatives by Amy Lynn Andrews

When Should We Upgrade to a Paid Site? by Jami Gold

WordPress.COM vs. WordPress.ORG — Which Is Better for Writers? by Jami Gold

Is Your Site Secure? Tips From a Tech Guy by Jay Donovan

Does Your Site Welcome Disabled Readers? by Linda Adams


Social Media

What To Do When Social Media Bums You Out by Abby Kerr

But Do You *Like* Like a Facebook Page? by Talli Roland

4 Compelling Reasons For Creative People to Start Using Google+ by Mark McGuinness

Pinterest for Authors: How to Promote Your Writing on the Fastest Growing Website Ever by Chris Robley

How Novelist Justine Musk Builds a Fictional World on Pinterest by Lauren Rae Orsini

Directory of Book Bloggers on Pinterest by Mandy at The Well-Read Wife


Collected Wisdom

Writer Resources by Gene Lempp

Twitterific by Elizabeth S. Craig

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas


Deep Stuff

The Grass Is Greener When You Water It by Lisa Hall-Wilson

The Not Knowing Path of Being an Entrepreneur by Leo Baubata

What We Lack in a Hyperconnected World by Leo Baubata

The Green Beret Survival Guide by Bob Mayer (some really useful questions to ponder if you live in an earthquake area – or write Post-Apocalyptic novels)


Fun Stuff

The Blacksmith Duel by Jim Paw-Paw Wilson

10 Dinosaur Myths That Need to Go Extinct by Brian Switek

Immortal Monday: Hades, God of the Underworld by Debra Kristi

The Day Thor Came To Visit by Kristy K. James

Fiction Affliction: April Releases In Urban Fantasy by Suzanne Johnson

Fiction Affliction: Genre Benders For April by Suzanne Johnson

Fiction Affliction: April Releases in Fantasy by Suzanne Johnson

Nazis – The Ultimate Bad Guys

Nazis from Iron Sky movie

Nazis from movie Iron Sky

“… you don’t have to agree with what the Nazis did, but, yes, to be honest about it, they did have the best uniforms.” – Andrew Eldritch

What do Sound of the Music, Inglorious Basterds, Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark and Schindler’s List have in common? Nazis as antagonists. Nazis have played a role in dozens of movies and novels of varied genres, ranging from war stories and thrillers to comedies.

And for a good reason. As disgusting as they are, Nazis are high concept. They demonised ethnicities and minorities and organised their destruction so well that it would be impossible to believe if it wasn’t history. Add to that the background of the WW2, the Aryan übermench concept, alleged occultic interests (like Hitler’s fixation on the Spear of Destiny), Lebensborn breeding program, doctor Mengele, the escaped SS men, and there’s a wealth of story material.

There’s also the big question of how could something like this happen. How could a small group convince an almost entire nation to adopt their ideology? Why did the people participate in something so awful?

One reason why the movie industry loves Nazis is because they are visually impressive with their pompous uniforms and propaganda. The over the top rhetorics and weird plans (like counterfeiting pounds to crash the British economy) make them perfect comedy material. Charlie Chaplin was the one of first to notice this potential in his movie The Great Dictator (1940). Although when the scale of the Nazi atrocities was revealed, there was an almost 20 year pause before other films dared to make fun of the era.

Chaplin called Nazis “machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts”. This quality makes them easy enemies if the writer wants so. You can treat their indoctrinated attitude and behaviour aa a given. Caricature Nazi antagonists can be devoid of emotions and human weaknesses or anything that the protagonists might relate with. In more recent movies, there have been symphatetic Nazis, like the captain played by Thomas Kretschmann in the Pianist (2002), and Downfall (2004) showed the human side of Hitler.

In Dungeons & Dragons’ alignment terms, Nazis are a great example of a Lawful Evil empire. The opposite would be a Chaotic Evil villain like Joker, Batman’s arch nemesis. Evil organisations are often riddled with cliches like backstabbing, corruption and bad motivation. The management terrorises underlings who in turn terrorise the locals. The people are oppressed and ready to rebel. It’s easy to see their weak spots.

On the other hand, the good guys dress clean, obey the rules, give their all for the greater good and have an effective organisation. The Nazis conquered, killed and robbed across Europe but they did so with German punctuality, high work morale and controlled behaviour. Their most important qualities are those of the good guys, just taken to extremes and without the morality.

Nazis symbolize the potential for darkness in all of us. Humanity has a long history of fearing and oppressing different people and Nazis took it to whole new proportions. That makes them the ultimate bad guys.

What do you think of the popular culture’s depiction of the Nazis? Have you watched movies or read books where they have a role?


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