Villains

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The hero would be lost without the villain. The villain is why the hero emerges in the first place. The Dark Knight and the Joker are two sides of the same coin.

The Joker: Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
Batman: You’ll be in a padded cell forever.
The Joker: Maybe we can share one. You know, they’ll be doubling up, the rate this city’s inhabitants are losing their minds.

Let’s face it, we need villains in fiction and for that matter in non-fiction. Take a look at some the best villains in children’s literature.

Harry Potter

“The most evil wizard for hundreds and hundreds of years” is so feared within the wizarding world that no one dares utter his name, preferring “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. Seeking eternal life and ultimate power at any cost Voldemort makes a fearsome arch enemy for our hero, Harry.

The Jungle Book

A crippled but proud tiger, Shere Khan becomes a villain when he preys on baby Mowgli, who has wandered into the jungle. Shere Khan vows that the cub will one day be his and launches a scheme to overthrow the wolf pack and kill Mowgli.

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Pampered London heiress turned fur-loving terror, Cruella de Vil more than lives up to her name as she drowns kittens and kidnapps 97 puppies to make a Dalmatian fur coat. Cruella was ranked the No 1 villain in Disney history following the film company’s 1961 adaptation of Dodie Smith’s novel.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

A Scrooge-like character with a heart “two sizes too small”. The Grinch becomes intent on ruining Christmas for the good people of Whoville by stealing their presents and decorations.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The leader of the Winkie Country is furious when her sister is killed by Dorothy’s falling house and vows to seek revenge on her by snatching the magical silver slippers protecting Dorothy.

Peter and Wendy (Peter Pan)

Described as the “only man Long John Silver ever feared”, this pirate is obsessed with two things: “good form” and making Peter Pan and his Lost Boys walk the plank. With a menacing hook replacing the hand that Peter Pan cut off and fed to a crocodile, Hook terrorises the people of Neverland.

 

The Work is Worth it!

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For the last few years, I have set a personal goal to get my work published. My dream has almost become a reality, and I want to tell you that all the hard work is worth it. In celebration, I thought it would be fitting to do a series on famous sayings involving work. When I read a wise saying, I am struck first with the word choice. Like an artist, the author of the saying paints the inner turmoil and resulting life experience with fanciful words that truly make me look inward. Wise sayings are born out of great struggle at times. Some sayings are the result of bad choices and some come from one profound, life changing moment in time. Take the journey with me as we examine wise sayings.

Let’s take a journey to Neverland for our first saying.

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”

James M. Barrie (1860-1937)

Novelist, Dramatist

J.M. Barrie was a Scottish dramatist, best known for writing about Peter Pan (1904), or The Boy Who Would Never Grow Up. The son of Scottish weavers, he moved to London to pursue his interest in becoming a playwright. It was there where he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired his masterpiece.

The famous character of Peter Pan first appeared in the 1902 book The Little White Bird. Two years later, his play Peter Pan premiered on the London stage and became a great success. Audiences were drawn in the fantastical tale of the flying boy who never grew up and his adventures in Neverland with the Darling children. Barrie also wrote a book based on the play called Peter and Wendy, which was published in 1911. The book earned raves from critics.

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”

I love Barrie’s sentiment. In other words, if you are doing what you love, it’s fun. Writing does take discipline like any other profession or hobby. I think Barrie was speaking collectively for all people when he shared this saying. For me personally, writing is something that I do weekly. It has taken me years to get the book deal that I have now for Stink Bomb and there is still plenty of hard work ahead, but the prize is within my reach. I can truly say that I have never been so stretched in my writing craft as I have in the rewriting of this book. Even when I wanted to give up, I reminded myself of my love for writing fiction and how far I’d come. That was when the breakthrough came.

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