Honestly, villains are hard for me to write.
They were always hard for me to play when I was a kid, too. My brother and I would have our G.I. Joe’s out and stuff and he would be all for the bad guy coming in and causing mayhem and I would be more for the “natural disaster” sort of plot because I didn’t like seeing character’s die.
(Ironic, I know, since I kill so many characters in my fiction.)
Marsali from Sedition was my first antagonist, the first time I’d ever delved into the mindset of someone who was clearly ruthless. The only way I managed to write her was to focus on why she was willing to be ruthless, and in her case it was the fact that she quite literally believed her home was in danger.
Reonne from Witch-Born had a huge back-story that never fully made it into the books. For her, she’d been passed over one too many times and she was bitter because of it. She had a false sense of entitlement that took her to dark places.
And now that I look at it, I see a clear pattern. Both women were powerful, refined, educated, capable and ambitious. I like those kinds of villains. I like the villain who knows precisely who they are, who can use good manners to cover their malice, and who are intelligent.
That’s the kind of villain I like to write, read, and watch on the screen.
Saboteur didn’t have one of these. Saboteur’s main villain was prejudice and ignorance and I personified those two inside Brodis Windringham. And I’ll admit … that was tough.
For me as a person I see nothing more dangerous in this world than ignorance and prejudice. History has shown us that together they are deadly. It drives people to do terrible things.
But I think the most fun I’ve had with an antagonist was with my up-and-coming Deviation. In that book the hero becomes the villain and the villain becomes the hero, and I totally did that on purpose. The idea was to show that even hero’s have a breaking point, and we watch as Hedric Prosser is run down until he literally has nothing left. Rather than finding that spark that makes a hero push on, Hedric goes dark.
And the arrogant, refined, powerful Matthew Borden (See what I mean about the pattern?) is given a chance to become something other than the antagonist. I’m not going to tell you how, you have to read it when it comes out. (In August.)
Anyway! That’s my very personal take on villains. The more refined the better, because intelligence is a scary opponent.
Round Robin Continues! Check out what some of my fellow author’s have to say about their villains and what they look for.
Anne Graham writing as Anne Stenhouse at http://wp.me/31Isq
A.J. Maguire at https://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/ (You are Here)
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/
Diane Bator at http://dbator.blogspot.ca
Fiona McGier at http://www.fionamcgier.com
Ginger Simpson at http://mizging.blogspot.com
Geeta Kakade at http://geetakakade.blogspot.com/
Connie Vines at http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Beverley Bateman – http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin Courtright – http://rhobinleecourtright.com