It’s time to learn from a few television shows.

I’ve been struggling with my revisions of late. Hell, I’ve been struggling with just working up the motivation to get online to do things like blog or tweet.

Now, much of this I attribute to me being burnt out. I do this a lot. When I finally set my mind to doing something, I become all but obsessed. After several months of going crazy hardcore on a project, I run out of steam and tend to flake off for a bit to recharge my batteries. I’ve been trying to break my funk these past two months and, strangely enough, I think watching all of Once Upon A Time on Netflix (then catching up on the new season that’s currently airing on television) helped.

I have a fairly long list of changes to make to hopefully turn my two R&Rs into happily ever afters, but I was still missing something: foreshadowing and memorable villains. Once Upon A Time (from now on referred to as OUAT) does an absolutely brilliant job at both of these aspects.

ImageI know both of these things were needed to create a great novel, but I feel like I had a “Eureka!” moment over the weekend. It’s as if visually seeing this done made something click in my head. Important story elements are seamlessly woven into each episode and oftentimes an important piece to the puzzle is hinted at several episodes before resolving that specific subplot.

Something my novel has most assuredly been missing is an awesome villain. I forgot to give them back-stories, to really spend time fleshing out their personalities and motivations, and most importantly, to provide them with the tools to stand apart and be memorable. Just like with the main protagonist of the story, villains also need a defining characteristic.

So, I’ll be hitting my revisions anew tonight keeping this important lesson in mind. It’ll require cutting one of the villains out completely, but then making sure to bring to the forefront that a “hidden puppeteer” is behind the remaining villains.

Have you ever figured out how to fix a problem with your novel via a television show? I can’t be alone on this.