First off, villain is one of those words I can never spell first time correctly. So if a few slip by under the radar with a misplaced a and i, please blame my lack of proofreading.
Okay, so here we are at V on my trip though my WIP ‘Prophecy of Innocence’ and oooh I am rather looking forward to this one because, well it’s about the Villain. And as we all know villains are almost always the best fun to watch and, it turns out, to write. Mwah ha ha!
For as long as I can remember I have always secretly rooted for the villain. Okay maybe not rooted for exactly, but always liked them more than the hero/heroine. I know I always used to think: “Oh for goodness sake, just for one episode let the villain win. It’s not fair the ‘goody’ always wins! Some case in points of my favourite villains would be:
Skeletor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe;
The Hooded Claw from The Perils of Penelope Pitstop,
The Sheriff of Nottingham, (the Alan Rickman version in the film as well as Nikolas Grace in the ITV 1980’s TV series),Vector from Despicable Me, Wile e Coyote (who in my opinion never deserved to have to put up with the smugness of the Roadrunner), Professor Snape from Harry Potter (okay so he’s just a side show rather than an actual villain but you are convincingly led to believe he is for a long time). Whilst we’re on Potter then I’d go also with Lucius Malfoy, then of course there’s Zod (not the new one for crying out loud!) and the creme de la creme of all villains – Darth Vader.
When I used to watch Batman as a child (the 1960’s TV series of course,) it was because I adored the villains. I absolutely LOVED The Riddler and The Penguin in particular. I watched this series and all these other movies/shows I’ve mentioned or read these books because I was captivated by the villains. These villains just seemed to have more personality than the heroes. They had all the best lines, the best costumes, the best voices, the best everything. I’m sure I could go on with more examples of villains whom I loved. I was the kid who didn’t shrink into my seat when the villain came on in the Christmas Pantomime but instead relished every moment they were on the stage. Perhaps my list of villains here are almost pantomime or it could be the heroes, who are their nemesis, are just a bit too ‘wet’ for me. Because of course in real life, and in literature & many other films rather than comic books and fairy tales , the villains are sinister and downright scary and not to be laughed at. I’m not going to root for Sauron or Voldemorte or Hannibal Lecter because they are the epitome of true evil and do not have those comic villain elements to their character. But the the Lex Luthors of the world, now they, I really love. And as I’m writing, essentially what could be classed as a fairy story, I guess my villain will come into the vein of those I have mentioned.
I cannot tell you much about my villain as it will spoil too much of the plot. But suffice to say he is to me quite wonderfully wicked. I love it any time he pops up whilst I am writing my WIP because I know I am going to have a lot of fun writing him.
He actually does not appear until the final quarter of Book 1 as you will recall if you read my O post, it is humans (or Oomans as my elfling characters refer to them) who are the main antagonists for a long time. However, unbeknown to the elflings there is a more dangerous threat lurking among their own kind but it is not until Book 2 that they discover the full extent of this and suffer the consequences of the villain’s actions.
Like most good villains, mine has an ego the size of the moon, has delusions of grandeur and of course to go with it a despicable plan to elevate himself to greatness.
He sweeps about in a long coat made entirely of peacock feathers, and carries around a sceptre type walking cane which has an amethyst sphere perched on top. He speaks to everyone as though they are a little dim witted and keeps more secrets than MI5 and the CIA put together.
Like all good villains he cares for no one but himself and the realisation of his goals, but like all good villains he does have a reason behind his treachery and dastardly deeds. His morality may be different to everyone else, but it makes absolute sense to him. He is not being evil for evil’s sake. There is a motivation to his actions but it is only throughout Book 2 we discover exactly what these motivations are.
My villain’s name is one of my favorite things about him. The name actually changed from the original name I gave him after chatting with a friend about my weird obsession of naming my characters after place names. He didn’t suggest a name for the villain as such. We were actually discussing another character Winklewell Snorsegrave at the time. I was laughing because saying it out loud made him and I laugh (yes we’re so mature). Anyway he just said something like: “Shaftsbury, there’s a funny place name. You could use that” and I had a light-bulb moment because my villain’s original name began with W too and I’d already got to thinking two three syllable W names who have to interact in scenes may get a little confusing for the reader. And so suddenly Shaftsbury Trailstar was born. Well the Trailstar part was already in place but I just loved Shaftsbury* as a name for a villain. After all he does shaft quite a lot of people (to use a colloquialism.)
*Shaftsbury pronounced with the ‘a’ being the longer ‘ar’ phoneme rather than the short ‘a’ phoneme. (I don’t know why this is important but it is. It’s not how I speak, I would say it with the short a phoneme but the more “Queen’s English” a suits his character better.)
So there you have a short introduction to my villain. I’m sorry I couldn’t give a way more. Even giving a way his name is probably too much. Then again, by the time I ever get around to publishing, things may have changed!