On Villains

Villains by Kaptain Kobold from FlickrI’ve been giving an absurd amount of thought to villains recently, going so far as to research the origins of the word. Apparently it stems from a French word that applied to the farmers and workers under a vassal lord…or something close to that structure. Because these lower class people were perceived as dirty criminals the word eventually morphed to mean criminals themselves.

I have no villain chosen yet for this third book. I can’t decide if that matters or not. The fact that it is the third book of a trilogy makes me worry. And ponder. And think.

Ideally, as a trilogy, the major characters should carry over throughout the work. And that means that Hector should be the villain. And yet that doesn’t sit right with me. I can see him as the antagonist, sure. But an antagonist is not necessarily a villain. Or the “bad guy.”

Which is to say that I really really really doubt that Hector and Epp will ever see eye-to-eye, but I also view Hector as an utter shell of what he once was. I don’t think he wields the power, or more importantly the followers, to really cause much of a ruckus anymore.

And in the third book of a trilogy, a ruckus is needed. Something should enter the story to threaten everything. Things should be utterly shaken up and turned on their heads. Whatever peace has been won should be pinned to the ground with a knife at its throat. I mean, it’s the third book after all.

The thing is I already sort of did that in the second book. All of that. Hector as a bad guy but not the biggest danger, a new character rising as a threat, all hell almost breaking loose.

So I feel like my thoughts on what a third book should be sort of set me up to repeat the second book. And I have no urge to lovingly bring along a new character from nobody to a villain.

See the problem here? I’m utterly divided. I mean it’s ridiculous. I want a proper bad guy and yet I don’t.

I want everything threatened and yet that seems repetitive.

Plus how much harder can my heroes get hit than they were in book two? I try not to write spoilers here, but those of you who are caught up…I mean think about it. Their safest havens were attacked, their greatest heroes were broken, their best leaders were steering them awry.

Which leaves me…what for book three? They all get really bad tummy aches?

Ugh.

This isn’t to say that I don’t have any ideas for villains. But nothing is jumping out at me as the exact right choice.

And so I continue to write and explore. The stuff I do have is really fucking cool.

I just wish I knew how it fit together a little better.

Which is why I want my villain solidified so badly. Because my gut is telling me that the character who will fit it all together, is the one that will appear to tear it all apart.