Conference Challenge #2: Victimize a Villain

I must admit. When I ran in the Disney Princess Half Marathon this year, I was more excited about getting my picture with these ladies …


… than any of the princesses.

Why is that? Do I secretly condone the use of poison apples, illegal child labor, and evil spells? Do I long for kingdoms without princesses? Of course not. I’m a total root-root-root-for the good guy  kind of gal.  And I would neverwear fur like Cruella, even if I could afford it. So why am I fascinated by the Villians?

Because they’re interesting.

Like on Devious Maids. My husband and I are completely addicted to the show–hook, line, and dust mops!

Devious maids

Bob loves the sweet and oh-so-honest Rosie, but my favorite character? The oh-so-wicked Evelyn Powell, who callously said in the first episode, “My maid was murdered! Who’s going to clean this mess up?”

Evelyn Powell

She’s rich, uncaring, shallow, and selfish. After a few episodes, however, we come to learn more about Evelyn Powell. How she desperately misses her late son and how she feels responsible for his death. How Evelyn’s self-loathing makes her believe she deserves to be married to a manipulative, repulsive man who feeds her guilt by refusing to forgive her … and by being so disgusted that he refuses to sleep with her.

Does this justify her actions? Well, no, but it does make us understand her. Sympathize for her. Empathize for her. And for those of us who have ever felt feelings of guilt, despair, heartbreak, and rejection … which is pretty much all of us … we even identify with her.

[For more on character sympathy, identification, and empathy – read James N. Frey’s How To Write A Damn Good Novel, II. Yes, I’ve mentioned this book a thousand times already and I’ll mention it a thousand more because it’s AWESOME!]


Back to Evelyn.

Evelyn Powell

Evelyn? Interesting.

Snow White

This Snow White? Sweet, but not so interesting.

Snow White 2

Snow White as a thief? Okay, now we’re talking.

And speaking of Disney and Snow White, let’s take a peek at the TV show, Once Upon a Time and the evil queen, Regina.

Evil Queen

VERY interesting.

She’s got the evil part down pat. Oh boy, does she, but we also get to see how Regina became so cruel and demented after her mother–also evil, oh boy, is she–killed the love of her life in cold blood, thanks to Snow White unintentionally revealing his identity.

(I could mention that if her mother really was as powerful as she seemed, then she could have figured out who Regina’s boyfriend was without Snow White’s help, but let’s not go there, shall we?)

The show’s writers did a good job of showing us why Regina is the way she is. Disney, however, didn’t give us much back story in their animated movies for characters such as Lady Tremaine and the Evil Queen other than how their actions were motivated by jealousy or in Maleficent’s case, not being invited to a party.

That’s where we come in.

CONFERENCE CHALLENGE #2: Victimize a Villain

I want you to take a Disney Villain or sidekick and create a compelling, heartbreaking back story for them … something that might explain how they became so evil and corrupt. Then set your stopwatch for thirty minutes and write a scene from the story where they are about to wreck havoc on the protagonist. This time, however, make the reader understand why.

And *bonus* make the reader identify with their feelings.

For my illustrator friends, draw your favorite villain but instead of an evil frown, show their deep torment and pain in their facial expressions.

Have fun with this one! Go crazy! And if you’re not planning on participating in the pre-conference challenges, you can still join in the fun by going to our Facebook page and sharing who your favorite villain is and why!

And in case you missed our first challenge, here it is:

Conference Challenge #1: Two Friends and a Kitchen Table

Also, for those participating in the challenge, here’s a reminder of the rules in order to qualify to win one of FIVE gift baskets!


Those who complete the challenges will get raffle entries for a super awesome delectably stuffed goodie basket and the winning ticket will be pulled at the Lucky 13: Make 2013 Your Year September conference on Saturday.

– Completing FOUR of the EIGHT challenges will earn ONE entry. (And unlike our previous challenges, it will automatically earn you a small prize. :))

– Completing SIX of the EIGHT challenges will earn TWO entries.

– Completing EIGHT of the EIGHT challenges will earn THREE entries and the official title of ROCK STAR, woo-HOO!

Once again, we’re doing this strictly by the honor system so you don’t have to submit your work unless you’d like to share with the class. (We love sharers!) You are required, however, to leave a comment in the challenge post saying you have completed the task for the entry to count.

Each participant will also have to tell us whether they are attending the conference on only Saturday or Sunday or both days. If the winner at Saturday’s drawing is not present because they’re a Sunday only attendee, they will receive their prize on Sunday. If they are a no-show on Sunday, then a new winner will be selected.

If you miss a week, you will be allowed to make it up. All that matters to us is that you do them honestly and completely, but you still must leave a comment in the original challenge post. (Links will be provided in each challenge.)

If you are a writer and illustrator and complete all eight writing and drawing entries, you will receive six entries. (For you non-drawing writers like me, stick figures do not count!)

Happy writing and drawing, everyone! 🙂

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two awesome boys, wife of one fantastic husband, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She loves run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
This entry was posted in Conference Information, Writing & Drawing Exercises. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Conference Challenge #2: Victimize a Villain

  1. Summer B says:

    Villain: Shere Khan
    Scene: Finding the Man Cub with the committee of vultures.

    Those stupid vultures are singing again. They’ll be a pain to deal with but creatures of the sky are the best to get information from when hunting. Besides, if they are at a wake then Shere Khan could have an easy dinner as he hunted for information on the Man Cub.
    Coming over a mound of rocks, that respected the true king of the jungle enough not to budge, Shere Khan spotted the annoying birds and, to his surprise, the Man Cub he was hunting. Seeing the Man Cub, Shere Khan was flooded with memories.
    Trapped by man’s red fire he had been forced to watch as his brother and sister were cornered and shot by thunder sticks. He had leaped through the fire, burning much of the fur off his body, to escape the same fate. Shere Khan could have possibly forgiven the man pack if they had wanted meat for survival, but no, man killed for sport. A game in which the winner kills powerful animals with their unnatural weapons and bits and pieces were kept as proof of their kill.
    As breakers of the Jungle Law all of the man pack deserved to die, as is right and just. The Man Cub sang with vultures, like he actually belonged with the creatures of the jungle. Fool. He would die, just as any man who dared to enter his domain.
    Sure the scrawny Man Cub was little now, but he’d grow. He may even now be learning to use fire and thunder sticks. Those mindless killers would not make any more in his jungle suffer as he had all those years ago. As true king, it is his duty to protect the jungle.
    Creeping towards the vultures and their Man Cub companion Shere Khan trembled in anticipation. His heart pounded and he gripped the solid earth under his claws. Every time he stalked man he was both angry and elated. But Khan couldn’t be a cold blooded killer like man. He’d give the cub a fighting chance to run, and then he planned to eat all he could. The Jungle did not approve of waste. And just to show how magnanimous he was he’d allow the vultures to finish anything he didn’t eat.
    Shere Khan was proud of what a good king he was. Pride filled his chest as he alerted his prey to his presents by joining their song.
    “That’s what friends are for….”

  2. Second Challenge … Accomplished. This time I’ll include the text.

    Drizella touched her face with cold fingertips. She thought of the time it had taken her and all the hard work she had suffered through to come up with the money to buy the profond éveil spell. Now when she looked at her face, her hair, her smile, she decided it was all worth it. Sometimes she looks in the mirror and doesn’t recognize herself.

    Mother hadn’t faired well after Cinderella won her prized Prince Charming. And then when certain Lords and Ladies throughout the kingdom heard about the terrible treatment of Cinderella at the hands of her stepmother and stepsisters, things only got worse. Invitations stopped coming, privileges were cut off, whispers swirled around them as they walked down the street. When Drizella’s mother died, as was custom, everything went to Anastasia, the oldest of the daughters. Drizella thought her older sister would share. But the Anastasia the instigator, the cruelist stepsister of all refused, running off with the money instead to Sweden with one of the King’s men on one of the King’s horses. Even more disdain and disgust was poured upon Drizella. But Anastasia’s time would come. First, Drizella would deal with Cinderella.

    Drizella had been nervous when she went to the palace. She was sure Cinderella would recognize her. She hadn’t. Years had passed — not many, but enough. Drizella was shocked at how easy it was to sit there and lie, smiling, saying her how much she loved children–loved teaching them and caring for them. She lied without flinching about how much she wanted to be the governess of the children … the children of the woman she hated more than anything, the woman who had ruined her life. Drizella could never care for the children, tending to needs, being tender when the poor darlings needed comforting. Too much pretending. A governess was more to her liking. She would have the chance to mold their minds, plant seeds of doubt and discord … behind the backs of mommy and daddy, of course.

  3. Larissa says:

    For me, he hardest part of the challenge was picking a villain. I went with “man” from Bambi. I made him an orphaned boy, hungry and alone in the woods. His parents have disappeared and he finally sets out with the rifle to look for them and find food. He comes across a nursery group of deer and struggles with the decision to kill one of the mothers, finally giving in to his hunger.

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