‘Ahhhhhhhhhh we meet at last.’ I don’t know about anyone else but I haven’t had this said to me at any point in my life nor have I felt compelled to utter it to anyone else. But without the moustache twirling and evil laughter, we all have that one person in our lives that we just don’t like. Some of us may even have more than one.
Be it someone at work who is a knob to any and all people they come into contact with, the nightmare neighbour who always parks in just the wrong position or that constantly barking dog which will never shut up, we all have someone who just grinds our gears.
As a social species, we have to all work together to get on in life but it’s never going to be feasible to get on with everyone. Despite our best efforts, there will always be someone who just doesn’t share our views or ideas. And there we have, what in comic book terms is, the Arch Nemesis.
Just think about that person or people in your life. Bastards, aren’t they? They just stand at the polar opposite to you in almost every way and seem to just derive a huge amount of glee from anything which could happen against you. Just picture their face in your head. Hold that sneering image and just recall all of the scorn they pour on anybody who crosses their path.
Angry yet? Maybe a little cheesed off?
That is something I keep trying to tap into when I’m writing at the moment. I’ve been working on a character during the second novel in the Dragon series who is an amalgamation of a few of my very own nemeses but I need to be able to get across to anyone who hasn’t got the same experiences as I do just how annoyingly smug and horrible this character actually is.
As I talked about during last weeks post, DEATH, the challenges that the characters in a story have to overcome are vital to be able to create value and believability. Death of a character grounds the fantasy. The same goes for the heroes enemy.
Picking characters from literature and the enemy is just as important as the hero. Professor X without Magneto? Winston Smith without Big Brother? Luke Skywalker without Darth Vader? Of the three examples I’ve just given, at least two of the bad guys are more well known than the good guys. The bad guys are the ones who seem to be able to generate more interest. They can do so many bad things. And they just seem to enjoy it. Bastards.
Maybe to see these characters fall after doing all of the bad they do is the level of wish fulfillment in us all that good will triumph over evil, us placing our own nemesis in the place of the baddie getting their comeuppance.
Or does it sit on the other side of the argument?
Do we see ourselves as the bad guy, getting the chance to be evil, power crazed and nasty. Able to do whatever we want to whomever we want regardless of the rules.
Regardless of the side of the coin you land concerning the identity of the monster, without that character, no story would be worth looking through. Just like Death, the Nemesis is vital to always keeping the story moving in a new and interesting direction.
‘Come to the dark side, we have cookies.’