Remember on a previous post when I wrote about wanting to write a Murder Mystery set in Elizabethan times? Well, I came up with a solid device, how women looking like the Queen were being killed all over London. The problem is I find Elizabeth's world too big for me. So, I'm taking that idea and plugging it into the fourth book in the Colin series. I thought book three would be the last, but it seems the tale has some juice left in it, as long as there's a good villain to be had.
Writing of villains, the best of which live in the stories Charles Dickens. He knew how to play out a good tale by beating down the hero and then raising him up on the wings of moral justice. There is nothing better than a nasty villain, armed with all the tools of their trade, to beat down our hero. I have to work on making my villains more substantial.
I think it's a trend today to see blood and guts and all sorts of nasty things, but a good villain will beat all the sensationalism hands down: remember Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood?" Who was the villain that stole the show? Remember "The Princess Bride?" It is nice to have a solid "Harry Potter" in your story, but what is Harry Potter without Lord Voldemort? He would just be another abused orphan, and that's too real. How about Steven King's 'IT'. A clown as a villain? Brilliant! I've never been able to look Ronald McDonald in the face again without feeling some malignant purpose lurking behind the paint. In Shelly's "Frankenstein," there is a word that is used to its full effect, and that word is "Monstrous." There is even a trend of making villains the heroes of the tale. I can't do that. I like sweet and sour together but separate, battling each other, with of course David Copperfield and Agnus living happily ever after.