[LMB] She says villains are difficult to write

Raymond Collins rcrcoll6 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 3 04:25:59 GMT 2016


Or the villain who doesn't think he's a villain.  Just sombody who has the
necessary thing to protect society. Think those people who conducted
"enhanced interrogation."
On Mar 2, 2016 9:47 PM, "Shan" <shiroise at gmail.com> wrote:

> ​Thanks to those who posted the full version link.
>
> LMB says "I'm also finding it strangely harder to write villains;
> unrealistic ones don't convince me and realistic ones are banal and boring
> and just not people I want to invite into my head for the length of time it
> takes to write a novel. Since most action stories are villain-driven - to a
> surprising degree, once one starts looking at them - this rather cuts off a
> bunch of story possibilities at the root."
>
> I recall how fantasy debased into a dualist light/dark model at the start
> of the 90s when a very successful house 'Forgotten Realms' captured much of
> the market.​
> Suddenly it was very difficult to find anything that DIDN'T do Dark Lord X
> Cute Hero. Villains became vague excuses. It was like school sports wearing
> different colour bands for teams. Boring.
>
> LMB has been a champion of complexity and postmodernism. ;)
> Thinking about her challenge I am pondering these:
>
> # The villain who has solid reasons, having suffered. Been done a lot but
> still has juice in the tank.
> # The villain who starts as an ordinary, even heroic person. The genuine
> temptations of power - Quis custodiet? Who watches the powerful and
> restrains them? Are the watchers corruptible? (yes!) How? What plans are in
> place to prevent this?
> # The villain who is (part of) a society that starts out acceptably but
> slowly over time changes. People get used to nastiness step by small step.
> They don't notice it properly. Some interesting studies on seeing/ not
> seeing in Nazi Germany.
> America and Britain have both achieved good societies in their time. Both
> have become corrupted, gradually, so greed, aggression, has become normal.
> # The villain who remains moral, and suffers long and ghastly reactions,
> destroying themselves with guilt. Some might not suffer guilt long term,
> but suddenly realise it, and make a self sacrifice (try Efnysien). Or
> perhaps accessing redemption by making compensation without self
> immolation? (For goddess sake though not the love of a good woman!)
> # The villain who truly believes they are doing the best possible for their
> society. They never do realise and POV from them, and a close intimate
> horrified at what they are doing is fascinating.
>
> Now if I could write like LMB ..... but a business + PhD is enough for now!
> Hope this helps stimulate.
>
> Shan Morgain
> Wales.
> --
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