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Nancy J. Cohen | Villains
Author Guest / October 14, 2010

In attending various writing workshops, I’ve picked up the following tips for creating villains: 1. Give the villain his own GMC, i.e. goal, motivation, & conflict. 2. Allow him to care about something to show his humanity. 3. Have a “good” villain as well as a “bad” villain, i.e. an official who obstructs the hero’s efforts. 4. The stronger the villain, the more stalwart the hero must be to defeat him. 5. The villain may have a twisted view of the universe. In other words, he doesn’t see himself as being evil. Here are some handy motives for your bad guy: 1. Protection of a Loved One 2. Fear of Discovery 3. Jealousy 4. Envy 5. Savior, i.e. it’s his calling to punish the sinners or save his species from annihilation 6. Greed 7. Power 8. Revenge Sometimes we can mix and match these negative motivators. In my current paranormal WIP, I have a female villain who justifies her actions in torturing humans because the survival of her species is at stake. However, she’s ambitious and resentful that women don’t have authoritative roles in her society. So she stoops to murder to climb to a position of power. The worse…

Nancy J. Cohen | VANILLA SPICE
Uncategorized / December 6, 2007

Did you know that vanilla is the only edible fruit of the orchid family? It’s an extremely valuable crop. Vanilla rustling has always been a concern to growers Thus beans may be branded when they are still green. While the plant stock is native to Mexico, beans are also grown in places like Indonesia, Madagascar, and Tahiti. Variations in soil and climate account for the differences in flavor. Legend says coffee originated in the Land of the Resplendent Moon. The ruler was blessed with a beautiful daughter, who dedicated her life to serve the goddess of crops. One day while gathering flowers in the forest, the girl came upon a young prince. They fell in love and ran away together. The priests caught them and beheaded the doomed couple. In the spot where their blood spilled, a bush grew. A vine sprang from the earth and twisted around the bush like a pair of embracing lovers. Orchids sprouted on the vine, and when the flowers died, slender green beans developed. Thus vanilla was born from the blood of a princess. Ninety-seven percent of the vanilla used today is synthetic. Vanillin is the organic component mimicked in synthetics, but natural beans…