I picked out the wrong shoes. The shoes were wrong because I thought they were neat. Yep. Neat. S., a girl who wore pink Oxfords and skinny ribbons in her hair, made it clear to everyone that my tennis shoes were uncool. The shoes weren’t the ordinary canvas. S. probably said it best when she strolled over to me during phys. ed. and said, “Nice shoes, Terrycloth-Tugger.”
All the girls laughed. She and her pretty friends called me that for two years. Sometimes in high school the name would pop back into her head and she say it when she passed me in the hall. She never said anything nice to me, but she still asked to borrow my pearl earrings for our graduation photo. S. was, of course, a cheerleader. Isn’t that a cliche? Bad, mean cheerleader!
Thanks to Darcknyt, I’ve been thinking about cliches and bad guys. In my fiction, I worry if my antagonists are cliche, cardboard, flat, not scary enough, or over-the-top. On Darcknyt’s blog people talked about why. Now, I want to know how not to. How can we see these flaws in our own bad guys? What are your bad guys like? Any favorite bad guys in fiction?