Monday, August 6, 2018

Favorite Villain #OpenBook Blog Hop

Who is your favorite antagonist/bad guy/villain in your books and why? What makes him/her tick?

Spoiler Alert! If you haven't read my books, this is your chance to turn back before I tell you who dunit. 

If you've followed this blog for very long, you know I'm a pantser. That means I don't fully plot out my books before I write them. I may have a general idea of the story line, but details often change as I write. That includes my villains. Someone once said that if they didn't know who the bad guy was by the end of the first chapter, I was doing it wrong. I strongly disagree.

Take my first book, Wolves' Pawn. I knew from the moment I first met him that Elder Choate was the bad guy of the story. I didn't understand his motivation at first, but that developed as the story did. He was a man driven by the belief that the old pack structure was the best and he failed to realize that modern ways would influence changes even to his tightly controlled world. His idea of what was right didn't match up with the beliefs of Dot, my protagonist.

I tried to build  him with more than depth than a single motivation. He'd been spurned by the woman who he'd chosen to be his wife. I never did figure out what caused the rivalry between the Choate pack and the Fairwood pack, one that had gone on for years. I suspect it was more than just a territory issue. One of these days I'll figure it out.


What I didn't expect was for Elder Henry Fairwood, the hero's father, to end up as an antagonist. I'd written him as a good guy for most of the book. When he revealed his true colors near the end of the book, I was crushed. But when I thought about it, it made sense.It was true to his time and upbringing. The fact that he surprised me meant it would surprise the readers as well, and I see that as a good thing.

But he ranks second in my list of favorites. I'd say my favorite is Annabelle LeRoix from the Baron's Cufflinks, the third book in the Oak Grove Mysteries. I wrote her as an uneasy ally in Harmony's quest to solve her current mystery. She was one of the good guys who, on the surface, sometimes acted like a bad guy. In fact, she was hired to help track down the bad  guy.

Then I got to the end of the book and she revealed her true colors. And none of them were good. The whole acting as a bad guy wasn't acting at all. Luckily, Harmony was up to handling the news. So was I, and this time it didn't make me sad. I didn't even have to go back and change anything in the story to make it work.

Annabelle was fun to write because she was so deeply flawed and she was good at hiding it. She was motivated by the classics-greed, power and love. A deeply flawed definition of love, in my opinion, but it fit her personality.

I'd love to hear about your favorite villain in the comments. In the meantime, let's check out what the other authors are willing to reveal about their bad guys.

August 6, 2018

Who is your favorite antagonist/bad guy/villain in your books and why? What makes him/her tick?

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
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