Ben’s back this week with part 3 of his series on Writing Villains, ‘The Doosh’.
Just what is a doosh and do you know any? Here’s what Ben has to say from his book “The Storyteller’s Handbook”.
“Actually, Dooshes sometimes end up in the good guy category, but they are generally some sort of antagonist toward whoever the protagonist is, which in its own sense kind of makes them a villain anyway.
“Though their roles in fiction tend to be obvious, most people run into dooshes on a regular basis in real life. And friends have asked me to explain what a “doosh” is in real life. The exact definition changes slightly depending on circumstances, but generally a doosh is a person who “everyone” thinks of as being awesome and righteous when to the discerning it is clear that they are full of themselves and doing everything out of selfish motives. I say “everyone” in quotation marks because obviously not literally everyone is deceived by them if the discerning people can tell that they’re dooshes, but it tends to feel like they’re fooling everyone. In fiction, certainly, the “everyone” can be slightly more complete, however your protagonist at least should be able to see past it even if nobody else can.
“That’s one type of Doosh, which I’ll call the Self-Satisfied Doosh. But there’s another type of character that seems to fall under the title of Doosh, and that’s what I’m labeling as the Obsessive Doosh.”