Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Guest Post: Career Choice: Writer or Supervillain?

by Nicholas Olivo

It's no surprise that many people struggle with the choice of becoming writers or supervillains. The required skillsets often overlap and leave many people debating whether to choose a pen name like Mark Twain or a more colorful moniker like "The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight." To that end, I created this brief survey to set folks in the right direction. To set things up, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Draw a vertical line down the middle of the page and label one side Writer and the other side Supervillain. We're ready to begin.

Do you enjoy building themed incendiary devices (e.g., exploding chattering teeth, dynamite filled rubber duckies, pumpkin bombs)? If yes, put a tick mark in the Supervillain column.

Have you ever killed an entire race/planet/bloodline solely for backstory purposes? If yes, put a tick in the Writer column.

Do you prefer to dress in spandex (tick Supervillain) or sweats (tick Writer)? 

Tick Supervillain if you'd like to kill your mother-in-law. Tick Writer if you'd like to kill her over and over again.*

Have you ever created a person solely to foil your own plans? If yes, tick Writer.

When planning a bank robbery, do you note all details, including the lobby's upholstery patterns, carpet texture and what the tellers had for lunch? If yes, tick Writer. If no, tick Supervillain. 

When crafting a poison, do you know the Latin derivative of the poison's name and at least three famous people who died because of it? If no, tick Supervillain. If yes, tick Writer.

Do you prefer to monologue to a captive hero (tick Supervillain) or to yourself (tick Writer)?

Can the hero easily escape from your overly complicated death traps? Tick Supervillain if yes, Writer if no.

When building a giant death dealing robot, do you ever pause to consider the men and women who inevitably died during its construction? If yes, tick Writer. If no, tick Supervillain.

*Also tick Writer if you like your mother-in-law. People need to hear those stories.

And there you have it. Add up your tick marks and it should be pretty clear which career path you need to head down. I look forward to seeing you in the headlines, one way or another. ;)
Today's guest blogger is Nicholas Olivo, author of Imperium and other Caulborn stories, and friend of the show. You can chat with Nick on Twitter at @NicholasOlivo.