First entry in “Oko” blog. Snowing today, Utah weather is highly neurotic with weather rising and dropping 20 degrees within couple of days. Currently working on chapter 18, the Dead Walk. For those of you who are familiar with the setting of “Oko” should know that Dead Walk a wasteland that was once the Finnish Gulf, but thanks to the bombing of the underwater factory in WW4 is now dried-out and uninhabitable. As Kadri embarks on her journey, I have plenty of trouble saved up for her during the crossing. As if she doesn’t have enough already.
Received the revisions for “Suume” today, a laundry list of items to change in the story. Some very good suggestions from the editors, and I can’t wait to fully dive into them this weekend.
Lately I have been doing research on writing an effective villain. As I’m fleshing out “Eks”, I have picked up a few interesting things about creating memorable villains. My main source of reference is the fantastic book by Jessica Morrell “Bullies, Bastards, and Bitches”. Here are few handy things I’ve picked up in my recent readings:
1. Learn your main character’s fears. It’s important to create a villain who will make sure to exploit those fears and terrorize the character to the max.
2. Know how far your villain will go. By knowing his limits, you can create a situation (closer to the climax) when the villain loses it and takes the threat to the next level.
3. Make sure your villain is at least as powerful as your main character. He has to make the reader genuinely worried.
4. Give the evil in your story a face. Even if it’s a powerful organization, make sure to select one person in particular who is actively involved in making your protagonist’s life a nightmare.
5. Know your villain as well as your protagonists. By writing out a detailed bio, you will ensure that the bad guy is alive in your head so he can be alive in your reader’s heads.
The research of fear can also valuable. By knowing some basic things like fight-or-flight reaction, types of phobias, and levels of sociopathy you can reach into the depth of your readers’ fears and create some truly memorable, and terrifying, bad guys.
Here’s to the bad boys and gals! By the way, those of you who truly want to experience the bad guy you want to strangle in his sleep, give Kathleen Duey’s book “Sacred Scars” a read. Somiss could turn a bunny into a killing machine. Happy writing!