Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Becoming the Villain

Wow, it's hard to follow Jeffe and James on this week's topic of the Villain Protagonist.  If you haven't read Sunday's post about the concepts and definitions of a "villain" click over now to Jeffe's post. And if you want to feel the hand-rubbing glee of crawling inside the mind of a "villain" and making the reader love him, well you really must read James's post from yesterday.
What could I possibly have to add to all that?

Imma share with you a little secret: when I conceive of my protagonists and the loose plot-lines, I think along the lines of villain archetypes and the villain's journey. I've a thing for social deviants and what makes them into the people they become. What motivates them to move away from a supposed moral path? How do they attract followers to act against social norms? How do they exist within a society they despise and who despises them? How much of that daily pressure and resistance exposes or constrains the options for conflict? Every major plot point is decided based on the baggage carried by the protagonist...and in the case of the villain protagonist, that's a lot of negative baggage.

Should my works ever make their way into print, a reader might notice that the people outside the protagonist's circle of friends view the protagonist as an outsider, someone indifferent, someone destructive ... someone forcing change on a large scale that never ends in rainbows and puppy kisses. In essence, they view the protagonist as a villain.

My challenge as the writer is to lead the reader into believing a villain's view of the world is the "right" view and that all the actions the protagonist takes are "right" actions. If I'm really good, I'll even convince the reader that the Hero Archetypes are the bad guys.

Now, ain't that just fun?

Dear readers, have you ever finished a book so on board with the protagonist and their story that it takes you an hour or two to realize that if the "good guy" was to walk into your "real world" he or she would very much be a Very Bad Guy? Which book? Which villain did you love as the anti-hero?

No comments:

Post a Comment