Friday, July 02, 2004

Villains and more

A few last character roles to be discussed:

The villains. The hero and heroine have an ample number of characters out to get them. First there's the younger "bad guy", a skilled fighter the hero's age, usually an assassin, who the hero has to fight somewhere near the end.

Then comes the power-hungry villain - cunning and twisted. Usually it's a man, but sometimes it's a woman such as Lady Irene in The Royal Pavilions series. They are often related to or in guardianship over the hero or heroine. They are also older, more along the age of the mentor.

Sometimes the luckless suitor is also a villain, like Philip in The Royal Pavilions series (can you tell which Linda Chaikin books I read this weekend?). A rare twist in the East of the Sun series is a suitor becoming a type of mentor.

A varied array of bad guys adds intrigue to the story, especially if they have different goals and double-cross each other. An extra villain is also a quick way to spice up an uninteresting section in the hero's or heroine's life. But be certain that it incorporates well into the plot.

There's also the heroine's rival, a woman who likes the hero and is inferior to heroine in many ways. The heroine's jealousy of the woman helps speed up the change from hatred to love.


I plan to use weekends to discuss off-topic subjects if I have time. I still haven't chosen the author for next week, but Dee Henderson is a possibility.


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