Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Villain Needs Therapy

I love writing villains. For some reason, in Outlaw Bride, the villain came to me so easy that the scenes where he was present were the easiest to write. But one dimensional villains aren't that much fun. I like to make them multi-layered.

Rogan, for instance, is harsh and cold and would kill his own mama if she got between him and what he wanted. Not exactly the makings of a stand up guy. But you've got to admit, the man has drive and determination. And the more I wrote him, the more I realized that he was a product of his environment and circumstance. He wanted more from life than what he started with, and he saw crime as a way of getting it because the normal avenues weren't open to him. He took what he had and made what he wanted out of it.

And he's not deluded either. He knows what he's doing is wrong, he just doesn't care. Because getting what he wants drives him beyond that. Anyone who gets in his way is nothing more than an obstacle to be overcome. One more person or thing trying to keep him down that he has to fight against. If he doesn't, the only thing he has control over in his life will be taken away and he'll be left powerless with nothing. He's driven by the fear of this. It's something he must avoid at all costs.

He tells Kate at one point in the story that everyone has to make a living, he just had to make his by the gun. He doesn't understand why Kate can't look past that, why she can't set that part aside and see the man beneath it. Not that he could love her if she did. Loving someone would mean giving away some of his power, and he'd never do that. But Kate is something he wants, and he's always been able to take what he wants. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to take her. She's thwarted him at every turn. She married his brother, she escaped him when he held her captive, she avoided capture after that, she loved another instead of loving him.

Kate has become the obstacle he can't get past and he becomes obsessed with her. Because so long as she is an obstacle, she has power over him. He has to conquer her to regain his power, to feel whole and right again. He's willing to risk everything to do just that.

The guy could really use an hour or six with Dr. Phil.


Nikki said...

Speaking of people who could use some time with Dr. Phil...

Man, I don't torture anyone like that in my stories. Well, unless you count them running out of Diet Coke...

It's fairly certain you and I will never be collaborating on any projects together. :)

Anne M said...

I love when the villain is well motivated. But if that's a picture of your villain - I could overlook a few character flaws.