Monday, September 26, 2016

In the Villain's Mind

I’m generally not a fan of scenes told from the villain’s point-of-view. I don’t like being there, in the villain’s head. I find that it gives away a lot of the tension within the novel—knowing what the villain is plotting. And, again, I don’t like being there.

This is, no doubt, close-minded of me. And you have to be careful, as an author, not to close your mind to possibilities. Because, eventually, you are going to have to break down that wall.

The problem with ignoring the major villain in Redemption is that—if I tell this story only from the main characters’ perspectives—the villain doesn’t get to walk onto the page until the climax.

And that’s a problem. A big one.

Because even though the villain has caused all kinds of havoc, it just doesn’t seem like a big deal if that character doesn’t show up for the build-up.

So after writing not one, but two full drafts of Redemption, I realized that—kill me now—I was going to have to actually climb into the villain’s head. And let this character talk to the reader . . . several . . . times within the story.

This was really quite creepy. I mean, you never know what might happen to you in the villain’s head. He or she might just chop you up with a letter opener or something. (You think I’m joking, but I’m not).

Spending a whole week—much less a month—climbing into the villain’s head was just not how I was planning on spending one of my summers.

But the book is oh so much better for it.