Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Heroes and Villains

One of the things you have to learn if you want to write successful fiction, especially mystery novels, is that people are complex. Your heroes will have flaws, and your villains will have positive aspects to their personalities. In real life, your opponent in sports, politics, or war will look like a villain to you as you gear up for competition or battle, but he or she will look like a hero to supporters of the other side. The trick is to avoid branding the opposition as an inhuman villain but to learn to appreciate the opponent's strengths. Only by objectively evaluating these strengths can you plan a successful strategy to overcome your opponent. The saving grace in all of this is that by appreciating the opposition's good points, you may learn to live and work together effectively even while you are competing. Always remember that successful interactions with others follow the basic rule of negotiations - you have to give something up in order to gain something. It works best when what you give up is of higher value to your opponent than it is to you.