Warring Villains as Plot Device

NBC’s Timeless. Image courtesy IMDB.com

Unlike many Americans, I’m watching NBC’s Timeless. I say this because it has been announced that the show will not be renewed for a second season.

But, folks, you need to watch it.  It’s really good.

If you do not watch the show, and want to watch it, the following contains spoilers but it taught me something about plot development.

The main plot of Timeless is that a villainous man is traipsing through time with a time machine changing history by killing certain people of interest.  The reason he is doing this, it turns out, is because there is a terrifying organization that has existed for centuries which is bent on world domination.

These two villainous forces fight each other, damage the time line, and the protagonists in the story are forced to attempt to survive it and also to do their best to repair any damage done by the two villains.

Most stories have one villain, maybe two villains working in concert, but to pit the two villains against one another with the protagonist (whom we care most about) being forced to become third in line to the events caused by the villains is very intriguing, and could make for some excellent fiction.

If you are looking for a good way to increase the peril for your protagonist, then this could be an excellent way to do that.  I plan on using a version of this plot device in my latest novel due out in July.

I just have to get the short story compilation out the door.

That’s coming soon.

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

3 thoughts on “Warring Villains as Plot Device

  1. I’m so disappointed. It’s a great show on for many reasons. I also read that there was an issue with it being copied from another show overseas without paying licensing, and there were some legal issues. I suspect that had a lot to do with its cancellation. So sad.

  2. Once again I miss out. Looked like a great show and one I’d been meaning to catch sometime. Good advice, as always, with the villains!

  3. I’m guessing that the demise of the show is due in large part to the emergence of the larger, overshadowing DC Universe show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — which essentially has the same plot and devices. An unknown entering the fray on the heels of a massive franchise — even if it’s arguably “better” — will usually wind up relegated to the place of the also-ran.

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