Thursday, March 24, 2016
THAT VILLAIN WITH SOMETHING SPECIAL
Every story needs a good villain. Snow White would be boring without the wicked stepmother/witch. She would just be another annoying goody two shoes waiting for her prince to come and marry her. Blah!
Some villains are as memorable as the hero or heroine of a story. Inspector Clouseau without the Pink Panther? Robin Hood without the Sheriff of Nottingham? Even light romances (think Harlequin) have a jealous, rich ex-girlfriend of the fabulously wealthy hero who manages to cause trouble.
I won't go into the darker bad guys. Really, Jack the Ripper was just plain evil and never got the punishment he deserved. For some stories, you just can't write a satisfying conclusion. Reality can be harsh.
I enjoy fictional villains who will be caught and brought to justice. My current story has two nasty men who are bent on greed and murder. For a while, I had them hiding out on a mountain top in the dead of winter. I was at a stand still. Never, ever set a historical in Colorado in the winter. After weeks of being stuck on what to do with the nefarious baddies, I realized I could stick them anywhere. So, off to a remote mining camp they went to create mayhem and wait for the snow melt
Occasionally, you run across an over-the-top villain who makes you laugh or even feel sorry for him. The Coyote will never out smart the Road Runner, but it's a lot of fun watching his futile attempts I particularly like a new TV program called Lucifer. Yes, that Lucifer. He's delightfully self centered, pushing people to do the wrong thing and completely baffled when he fails. He's taken a vacation from Hell and God is not pleased. How innovative! Oh, he also has a therapist.
Writers need good bad guys. They actually make your story more interesting. Personally, I'm too timid to do anything against the law. You have to admire a good villain. They don't care.
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I love writing villains. Sometimes I give them a point of view, when there is no doubt who they are, but some of my most fun writing has come with these nefarious baddies. I guess I've never written one like Stephen King's that is so bad it keeps me up at night... probably won't be either ;)ReplyDelete
Great post, Brenda! We need good villains. I sometimes fail to make mine bad enough.ReplyDelete
You are so right. You need an antagonist for your protagonist to make the story interesting. Even Rocky and Bullwinkle had Boris and Natasha!ReplyDelete
Villains always give you a way to move the plot. I like villains, but I don't like going into their POV. A Ruth Rendell book years ago went into the head of a psychopath and I didn't sleep for days even after putting the book down and not finishing it.ReplyDelete
The other thing I like to do with a villain is make his actions logical to him or her. Just having them being mean doesn't work. It takes that they logically see what they are doing and see themselves as right. I don't though do horror; so don't show the villain mistreating someone. It's more the plotting and how they see the hero.ReplyDelete
Yes, good always needs a foe over which to triumph. Good post.ReplyDelete