Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Constantly Evil

     A few entries have already been submitted for the contest Wayman Publishing is holding.  Please go here for more information about that: 

    "What's the name of the bad guy in your book?" I found a note under my door.  "Can you tell me about her?  Is her name still Constance? I want to win the contest so bad. It might be neat drawing something from your book.  I could really use 50 US dollars."  That cracked me up because the "50 US dollars" bit came directly from my blog.  "I'd also like to win a copy so I can read the sword of senack to my cat and dog."
    The Scribe--that MOTIVATED child--had written the letter.  She wants a laptop AND thinks the animals belong to her?  Okay, so I have to give the kid some props; that was an AWESOME idea to draw something from my book--talk about pulling at my heartstrings. (Too bad she can't enter).  I wish her luck saving that much money though; God bless her when reality sets in.
    "Constance," I replied on a paper I later slid under the Scribe's door, "is a shape shifting witch, heartless and cruel beyond anything.  I picture her with long curly hair.  She has green eyes and a triangular face.  She's made herself as attractive as possible since she can chose what she looks like."
    That night, I found another note with this picture attached: 

   "I'm a writer too," she'd written.  "How did you come up with such a good idea for a bad guy?  From, your biggest fan."
    Number one, was this just to butter me up?  Didn't the Scribe realize I'd know it was her?  Oh, she's a goose!
    I smiled and wrote back.  "I'm almost always nice to everyone--as you know--even when I should be standing up for myself instead.  One day a person really bullied me.  That's the day I created Constance.  She's the complete opposite of polite.  She's pure evil.  Some villains are partly evil, meaning they have some good in them.  Constance is all evil though.  Even if she seems nice at moments, she isn't.  She's what Syronians call 'mindstruck' because one bad thing happened in her life and she cracked."
   "Thanks for your help," the Scribe  responded the next day.  She is hilarious.  I might just give her a copy of the book so she can have it special.  As far as the laptop goes, she'll be saving for a LONG time.

    In closing, is it more impacting to create a villain with the potential to be good, or a villain who is completely evil?  

    For some reason, the 'pure evil' aspect terrifies me--always has.  That seems far more dangerous.  For example . . . in my book even when Constance acts nice, the children should be wary; she's far more wretched than they can possibly imagine. 

    I'm so excited to read your opinions about this.  Sorry I haven't been able to visit blogs as much as I normally do.  I'm amidst some serious editing projects and deadlines as well as potty training Dr. Jones; let the good times begin.


  1. I think it depends on how they come across. Pure evil can come perfectly and chillingly across if done right. But so can a misled antagonist who had the potential to be good but ultimately succumbed to the other side.
    Depends on the story. Depends on the writer :D

    Also - Scribe is AWESOME!

  2. She drew that?!?! If so, that's amazing. I can't even draw stick people straight, and I could never draw that!

  3. The scribe cracks me up! But that is a very good drawing of Constance and she is persistent.

    I think it depends on the story. Sometimes pure, unrelenting evil is the way to go. Other times showing a gentler side of an evil person can make them even more chillingly sinister. Watching Hitler with his beloved dogs gives me chills, for example. Or Silence of The Lambs--his quiet gentleness was very spider and the fly, if you know what I mean. Evil comes in many forms and shades. :)

  4. Having just finished potty training The Girl, I feel you. I find it interesting that Constance came from real life. Which scares me a bit.

  5. I think the villain with the potential to be good is always intriguing. Like Darth Vader! Especially because we got to see how he became evil, and it was all about being fooled and in love, and just the opposite of what should bring evil.

    By the way, I would love, love to see you at Club-Content, because I think you have so much to offer! We're getting up a new feature that lets you test a post for free in the contest system too. Make sure you use the vB discount on my blog if you decide!;)

  6. kids are the 50 US dollars thing!

    in regards to the villain...think it all depends on your story, and what you're trying to accomplish with your villain. if there isn't supposed to be any hope for them, pure evil is the way to go. Darth Vader in Star Wars...

  7. haha well it was a good try of the scribe to get the $50 US dollars..hahaha

    It depends on the situation and the conflict really. I enjoy both, but it's more fun just writing them evil, making some a bit over the top is quite fun too. Again all depends on the story for me.

  8. Nothing surprises me with The Scribe. I LOVE her drawing--as always! Can I give her a little hint that most people don't know? Most people draw them smaller, but a person's hands are about the same size as their face. Don't believe me? Put your hand over your face. (Some people would look better if they left them there!)

  9. Gotta admire her for trying. When you're a kid $50 is a King's random.

    As far as villains go, it depends on the story. A character who is EVILLLL for evil's sake can wind up being a bad caricature in the wrong story. Likewise, a bad with an inner portion of good can seem wishy washy in some tales. It all depends on the story.

    Personally I like villains who are convinced of their own good/superiority. They basically have their own set of (usually insane) morals that set them apart. Dr. Doom is a good example of this. He's a rich character with a lot of history, but if asked would probably not see himself as evil...despite everyone else doing so.

  10. I love writing villains, and reading about them too: I sometimes end up liking them more than the good guys!

    I'm rather partial to a relatable villain with some good in them - combine it with a flawed hero and you can get something really moving and thought-provoking: sometimes you even end up wondering who you should really be rooting for. I love that. A Game of Thrones is a good example. And when the bad guy clearly has the capacity to do good, and deliberately does bad, it can make them seem even more chilling and terrible.

    But I also like a really nasty villain, if well done. They can be wonderfully frightening and the basis for a real struggle for the heroes, making for a thrilling story.

    So I like them both, and I think the main thing is not to sit on the fence - either aim for a villain who might not be if you weren't seeing it from their enemy's point of view, or paint their soul as black as pitch. On balance, though, I think my favourite is the relatable villain. Although I do enjoy writing a horrible one - I may have to ration them!

  11. That's my girl! She is industrious that little minx! My vote is give her a prize! After all her drawing was pretty amazing for a 10 year old. I'm rootin for you SCRIBE!!! As for the pure evil in characters... It's hard for you to imagine that some people ARE pure evil. You want to see the good in everyone. Part of what makes you so loveable. Don't change.

  12. i always struggle with the villains that are pure evil, a part of me always wishes there was SOME good in them that the character can play on their mercy, but for some stories a pure evil villain is needed. so it's a hard call.

    I So hear you about being busy, deadline approaching fast, and having your attention pulled away by your kids. my little girl has been sick the last 2 weeks, I haven't been able to do much at all, but I missed your site so much, I just had to stop by today to say hi!

    "HI!" Good luck with the potty training!!

  13. With the potential to be good! Getting the villian to switch teams is way more exciting then seeing him "destroyed".

  14. Pure evil to me is the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Best wishes with the potty.


  15. She is an AMAZING little drawer....I think Evil is all around us and it is all about how you write it, which I have no doubt will be amazing. My last blog post was about my daughter and a bully at school. This girl puts evil to a whole new meaning. It is really bad. SHe is making my daughters life so bad. I think when the one who is EVIL starts to tear others down to a point that it cripples the good guy, its too far. But, I know if anyone can make evil look good, it is you. :)

  16. The Scribe is awesome - and a talented artist!

    When you were describing Constance, it sounded like you were describing Regina/the Evil Queen from "Once Upon a Time," a new series on ABC: something, one thing, bad happened to her and she's been cold-hearted ever since. Even when you think that she's being nice to you and has good intentions, she has an evil agenda behind her moves. As for which is more impacting, I think it depends on the story and the kind of outcome you want. I'm not a fantasy writer, though, so I'm not sure.

  17. I always like a good anti-hero. Like Glenn Close's character in Damages.

  18. And loved your clever title to this post!

  19. I thought this title was referring to my cat, Briege(so did she...).

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