(By the way, I’ve added the first chapters of my three major works, and a short story, to my blog. If you put your mouse on the “Adventures in Various Worlds” page you’ll see them.)
Today’s post is a collection of miscellaneous things, which ended up being mainly about villains.
I thought of a way to turn a stereotype on its head: what if a good character liked spiders? Just because it’s creepy-crawly doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad — you know all that about beauty being inside and what’s on the outside isn’t necessarily a reflection of character? (Sorry, Renaissance lovers.) And just because villains are usually the only kind to like, get along with, not be afraid of, or even employ spiders, doesn’t mean their use can’t be redeemed. Stereotypical villains are bad examples, but sometimes we can take back what is associated with them through long years of them all being exactly the same. I draw the line at good characters liking snakes, though. Snakes are evil.
My sister gives me a lot of ideas for my writing. Several of her lines have found their way straight into stories.
“And right now I suspect you of having dark designs on some of my property.”
“Dark designs? Did I get mud on the carpet?”
Others are a little stranger. Without her how would I have conceived of the notion that a villain would like to chew carrots? Or have a side hobby of making muffins? Or like to wear stripy socks (and if also fuzzy, all the better)? Or liven up his black uniforms (because we all know that all villains, and only villains, wear black) with dashes of neon? I don’t suppose you can imagine a villain who likes cheesecake and sleeps with stuffed animals, not that he’d ever admit it to his underlings of course? Whose favourite food is cheese and crackers? Who adopts stray cats and gives them a loving home? He draws the line at killing people personally — if that has to be done in order to get to his larger goal, he’ll make sure his henchmen do it behind the scenes — and he specializes in thefts and crimes of that sort, being both charming and light-fingered. In his spare time he doodles and writes nonsense verse.
I’m tossing these ideas out there because I doubt I’ll ever get to use them all, though I do like the idea of a villain adopting stray cats to give them a loving home, and that one will probably find its way in somewhere.
I’ve been noticing lately that I don’t have that many villains or antagonists in human form — usually it’s circumstances, or laws, or people who want to do right but do bad things from a misguided ambition to bring about the greater good. Considering how picky I am about bad guys, it’s odd that I haven’t practiced much of what I preach.