From the clever Katherine Battersby
The Benefits of Being Mean
Being mean isn’t something I’m naturally good at. I try to be a good person. Try to be thoughtful of others and unselfish. In my writing pursuits I expected this would always serve me well, but not so. It turns out that being mean is a core requirement of writing. Why? Because if you’re always nice to your characters, nothing interesting will ever happen.
The rest lives here http://wellreadrabbit.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/the-benefits-of-being-mean/
Also, check out the supremely nerdy and organised plotting corkboard!! 🙂