Thursday, July 05, 2012


Current Project: My LEGACY series
Status: Book #3 released, doing copy edits for Book #5, doing deep edits to Book #6
Posted by: Genie Gabriel 

This must be the week for bad guys! 

I'm at a point in my edits when I need to introduce a new character--but the opposite of Meggan's rake who falls in love and becomes a hero.

My new character will seem to be a nice guy who turns out to be a villain.

This is an interesting development for me. I generally have my bad guys be that way from beginning to end of a story. 

However, in writing my LEGACY series, there are degrees of villainy. In the first book, the hero locks up a bad guy. However, a bigger, badder guy comes along in the next book, and the next. 

This will continue until the end of the series, when the ringleader will be uncovered. 

Since the series takes place in a small town, the villains may be people who have lived and worked in this town for a lifetime. A neighbor. Someone my hero or heroine thought was a friend. 

Which brings me back to my challenge. How to write a nice guy who has darkness in his heart. And what's his motive for choosing the dark path. 

Have you ever written a character like this?


Meggan McQuaid said...

The first thing that comes to mind, Genie, is Dexter. You know, the character from the tv show? I do have a character like this, but he's just narcissistic and self-serving, thoughtless. He breaks a heart but doesn't actually kill anyone. But I have known enough people like this in my life, especially my father, that it doesn't seem too hard to write this person. Charm, smiles, and ulterior, selfish motives. Easy-peasy. I both hope and don't hope this will be as easy for you.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Thanks, Meggan--I think. :) It's one of my personal "just don't get it" blocks. I "know" people aren't all good or all bad, but I still try to categorize them that way. Actually, this does help me build that character.

Deborah Wright said...

Interesting post! And timely, too, because I have a couple of villains in the new book who have degrees of this, in a way.

What I'm trying to remember is that they don't see their actions/decisions as choosing darkness or evil or whatnot. From their point of view, they've made rational, logical choices. It isn't easy, though!

The other thing I'd say, regarding the fact that your bad guy may be a neighbor, etc., is that we only see the superficial exterior -- the public face, as it were -- of the majority of people we know. Based on that, we make a heck of a lot of assumptions. Who knows what's really in your neighbor's heart? (cue ominous music...)

Good luck!

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Good points, Deb! This may be easier than I thought. (Hums along to ominous music!)