Monday, September 04, 2006

Villains! You got to have them!

Starting today, we're having a two week period to discuss our book's villains and I get to lead off :D

As you all know, the hero/heroine have to have something to fight against, whether it be a natural force, a social custom or a person who opposes their goals or, as they're sometimes referred to...a villain.

What we need to remember is that in the villain's mind, he (or she) IS the Hero. That other guy or gal the author spends so much time with is their personal enemy and the foil of all their plans. Sounds sort of schizo, huh? But it isn't. Our villains don't wake up, finger stroke their long, oily mustache and chortle about the mayhem they're going to cause the good guys. No, they have their own goals and aspirations (and depending on what they are, those goals and aspirations may be entirely admirable--it's often the villain's method of reaching them that we find objectionable.)

Take for example, the 'villain' in Heartstone. The Gawan is one mind controlling many bodies through its physical manifestation as an internal parasite. That physical manifestation is rather weak--no arms, no legs, no independent mind--and can easily be destroyed. The Gawan knows this and it knows that its strength lies in how many 'bodies' it has. That's why it goes on a conquest to conquer all the galaxy--to ensure its survival. And that's why, when it learns of the Heartstone and the Stonebearer, it concentrates on either acquiring them or killing them.

Survival is an entirely understandable motive even if we disagree with the methods.

In Altered Destiny, available in March 2007, the villain appears to be a race of people come to an alternate Earth. And while this is technically true, the real villain of the book is just one of those people. This time I chose a female as the villain. Cuini is a half-breed and the only fertile female of the Qui'arel. Her goal is power, not just over the Earthish people but over her own Qui'arel race. Her methods border on madness, in our eye, but are logical to her.

While we might sympathize with the Gawan in its quest to survive, we're never going to sympathize with Cuini. And that's okay. Villains give our heros, and us, someone to fight. Without them, our books would be...well, boring.

1 comment:

Angela Verdenius said...

and sick puppy that I am...I like a good-looking villain sometimes, too! LOL We hear so much about the nasty looking villain with the eye patch and slobbering mouth and bad breath...A good looking villain thrown into the pot makes it interesting!