How to Write a Tragic Villain like Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT

Well folks, I finished it.

This monster of a post that split off into two parts with a spin-off post still incubating (it’s going to take some time for me to recover before THAT one will ever be complete).

On my blog, I split a deconstruction of The Dark Knight into two parts: the encompassing, heroic plot, and the tragic plot it was built around.

Grab some popcorn and get ready to geek out.


To read through the scenes of the movie chronologically, start with Batman. Then follow the links to teleport between the two posts. I’ve got to warn you, though, it’s a total of 5769 words. Plus there’s a spaghetti-like tangle of links to hop you back and forth. This is no two-minute read.


To read a deconstruction of the main storyline (with a quick diversion or two into Harvey’s POV), read the Batman / Bruce Wayne half of the story (3714 words).


To see how the Nolan brothers wrote Harvey Dent as a tragic hero, read Harvey’s half of the story (2055 words).

And hey—stay subscribed. That incubating post I mentioned earlier? It’s about planning and plotting trilogies. I might have it completed in, say, 2021.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Last week I wrote about four ways to get ideas based on the four writers who spent some time in Switzerland with (and including) Lord Byron. Are you more of a reteller, historian, memoirist, or inventor? Read how each of these writers approached one writing prompt which birthed two new genres.


Since we’re talking about getting ideas, you might also find these posts helpful:

Spring is coming (well, if you live in our hemisphere), which is a time of renewal and new life. Maybe you’ve fallen off the horse you roped during New Year’s resolutions. Rope a new one and hold on tight. Somebody’s got to ride off into that sunset. Why shouldn’t it be you?

Recommended Reading for Black History Month

Admittedly, this is not the most editing related post I’ve ever written. But I think it’s important, so I’m doing it anyway.

As members of the publishing community (and as members of the human race), it’s important for us to be aware of others around us and to boost marginalized voices. With that in mind, I’d like to recommend 10 books to celebrate Black History Month.

1. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor


2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


3. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson


4. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson



5. Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes


6. Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name by Mo’ne Davis


7. MLK: Journey of a King by Tonya Bolden


8. Monster by Walter Dean Myers


9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Blank Page Blues: Writing Prompts for When You Just Can’t

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We’ve all been there. (Jeez, I’m there now.) When creativity epically fails. When the words vanish like a glimmering ring down a hellish garbage disposal. (And if horror movies have taught us ANYTHING, we know we sure aren’t sticking our digits anywhere near those blades.) Instead, we do the smart thing, the adult thing. We call a professional.

Or, to salvage my sleep-deprived metaphor, we ask for help and try to break the roadblock by truly, simply, purely getting the words a movin’.

Without further ado, I give you hyperlinks:

  1. For those who like leaving it up to fate
  1. For the young
  1. For the witty
  1. For those who are still listening to Christmas music
  1. For the thorough

Good luck and happy writing!