By: Sarah Hansen/Editor Faery Rose
Sporting a swirling cape and sinister mustache. Camouflaged as part of the team. Skulking in the background—human? Or not?
The villain plays a dark and important role. The villain himself (or herself) may possess their very own point-of-view. He may lurk as a menacing presence, foiling the best efforts of the hero and heroine to save the day (or night—it is paranormal month here at The Wild Rose Press) through the hero and/or heroine’s POV. His point is to help drive the plot, give cause to the story, to help force the hero and heroine to grow.
For a strong villain—a worthy opponent—this character, whether human or supernatural, needs some special attention and devlopment right along with the other characters in the story. A hastily contrived antagonist to throw a wrench in the works ends up quite obvious and a turn-off. Please don’t expend all of your creative energy on the to-be-happy couple. Don’t just call him sinister, make him that way. Being smelly and ugly doesn’t mean he’s evil. That just means he was blessed with poor genetics and needs a bath. Infuse him with actions and an aura that make the reader’s neck hair stand on end.
The villain can break a story as much as an ending that leaves you scratching your head. Don’t let your villain float. Give him a connection to the characters that truly makes it a feasible relationship. Random, ambiguous villains bug me as much as flat heroes and heroines.
Design the darker side to fit, meld, blend, to truly belong to the story as the heroine and hero belong. A villain needs a personality too. Strengths and weaknesses, quirks and flaws, maybe even the occasional redeemable quality.
Just make sure they can be defeated in the end.