novels · writing

Lessons from the Monster: On Villains

It’s time for another lesson on what not to do, ghastly mistakes courtesy of myself and The Monster. For anyone who has not already heard me bemoaning it, The Monster is a half million word long catastrophe of a novel, with which I’m fairly sure I made every mistake in the book of mistakes while writing.

Today’s topic? Villains.

The Monster had a lot of villains in it. I don’t even remember how many. There were a lot of evil doctors. A lot. They weren’t even all on the same side. And then there were other protagonists who simply had conflicting goals with Angel and her minions.

Villains are what make this story go round. I like them. A lot. Apparently, that’s why I got carried away. I can remember at least six villains, although there might have been more. Most of them had clean-cut goals (all which involved either testing on or dissection of Angel; crazy psychos, the lot of them).

But, as I’ve learned, things never translate as neatly from my head to paper as I plan. With so many villains, things started getting messy. Fast.

Originally, I had it planned that the villains would all appear in sequential order of badness with the exception of one – that bad guy being a general in the army, who’s technically a good guy.

The plot was complex enough with the first bad guy. Multiply that by six, and things suddenly get a lot harder to comprehend.

If all the villains had had fairly simple goals, this might not have caused such a massive problem.

Consider this a lesson learned. Your villain can be complex, but his goal should be as simple as possible.

New plan? Consolidate villains if possible. Cut plot lines if I must. Streamline their plans and organize it so that whatever villains make the final draft are the most wicked evil, and the easiest to understand.

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2 thoughts on “Lessons from the Monster: On Villains

  1. I like these posts… hmmm do you mind if I steal your idea and use it on Novel Ideas for BTE? LOL

    Good, point though. SIx? SIX! You are a mad woman, i’m having a hard time juggling two!

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