How villainous should a villain be and how do you balance him out?
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First of all, thanks to Delilah for hosting me today. She’s been one of my aspirational authors from the day I joined my RWA chapter and met her. The lady knows how to turn a fine word!
When writing a villain in an erotic romance the question always sits there as to how totally bad the villain should be. And is he or she a major player in the story or just a means to an end.
The dictionary defines a villain as an evil character in a story. The villain usually is usually referred to as the antagonist the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters. A villain is “a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.”
When I was creating the villain for Out of Control he was definitely not a deliciously wicked person. In fact, he’s the kind of person you want to shoot on site. He’s a major, major player in the story, because the history of his interaction with the heroine is the pivot on which the entire story turns.
“He sat in his den, pouring another shot of his favorite, aged whiskey, hoping it would calm his nerves. His hand trembled slightly as he lifted the glass to his lips again.
The whiskey burned as it slid down his throat, but it was a good sensation of heat. Comforting. Settling his jittery nerves. Last night’s little…adventure…had soothed him for a while but seeing her again this morning had jacked him up again. Brought all those tiny lovelies back again.
She had returned, his elusive little flower. This morning, he’d seen her entering Cole Landry’s office. So sweet, just like he remembered.
He’d Googled Dana Moretti last night on the computer, and the face looking back at him made his blood run hot all over again. He’d never forgotten his little Carrie. She’d been special. The only one who hadn’t cried out. The only one who’d struggled against him, turning him on with her odd sense of bravery. Now she was back. Finally. After all these years. She wasn’t getting away from him again. Not this time.”
And the heroine. The fear he instilled has been with her for most of her life. How would she feel being back in the place where her life took a turn for the worse with the villain still at large? What effect would it have on her digging into the files of the other crimes, ones where the victims hadn’t been lucky enough to escape as she had?
“She studied the screen on her laptop. The notes she’d transferred from her study of the case files stared back at her. There was nothing dressed up about the facts. They were brutal. Gruesome, even, and very explicit. The deputies who’d found the bodies had left nothing to the imagination. The pictures they conjured were like something out of a torture chamber.
A shiver skittered over her spine as she felt the ghost touch of those calloused fingers probing her body, heard Kylie’s high-pitched little screams. Remembered the terrible pain. Felt the tape ripped from her mouth and strange hands trying to be gentle with her.
When she’d seen Kylie’s body, she’d thrown her head back and screamed so long and hard her throat ended up raw for days. She’d fought to get to her sister, but other hands restrained her, voices tried to soothe her, and finally the sting of a needle had plunged her into blackness.
Now, with each case she examined, she relived it over and over again. Her stomach convulsed, and once more, she felt like throwing up.”
And then of course I needed a hero who was heroic enough to balance the villain, because I’d taken a chance and made the villain a totally despicable person.
“She was still rocking when she heard sirens in the background and the squealing of tires as a car–maybe more than one–pulled up behind her. Then her door was yanked open and Cole was crouching beside her, unbuckling her seat belt, putting one arm around her and smoothing back her hair.
“It’s okay.” His voice was calm and reassuring. “It’s okay, Dana. I’ll take care of whatever it is.” Read the rest of this entry »