A solitary auburn-haired figure pored over amber shards split open on a table stacked with maps. With a heavy needle, they chipped at the crinkled legs of spiders and wasps trapped inside. The two seagull feathers sat next to an aged sextant on the maps.
She was slim like a leaf and painted in a dark stain, highlighted by white-grained wood underneath. The lateen sails were cleanly secured, and her prow dipped gently over each pull of the tide.
A young man crouched over the embers, stirring them with a stick. His black curls were pulled back in wet strands and a raven skull leered on the shoulder of his tatty greatcoat, spewing its own feathers.
I seem to be the only one who's noticed how many romantic cliches in writing can shape up into seriously great villain origin stories. Hear me out.
The more I fine-tune "Lost and Found," the more my heroes become anti-heroes and my villains become anti-villains. The only difference between most of the "good" and "bad" characters is who they happen to dislike the most at that moment.
When I hit writer's block, seven times out of ten it means I didn't know my characters well enough. If I knew my hero, I'd know exactly what he planned to do next. If I knew my villain, I'd know exactly what he's been up to in the background. So maybe it's time we writers asked them to dinner.