HOw I feel when I’m creating the villain
Good authors like to get into their character’s heads when they’re writing, much like an actor does when portraying a character on the stage or screen. It’s the best way to make your characters seem real and behave spontaneously rather than assuming what they’d do next. But what happens when an author gets into the head of their villains?
I’ve always had a bit of a warped imagination. You’d have to, to write about torture and other such horrors. When I started writing Shadow Stalker, I wanted a villain that wasn’t just evil. I wanted him to be completely psychotic, but not just for the sake of being psychotic. There had to be a purpose to it (which hasn’t come out in the story yet, so I won’t mention it here).
I’m not a psychotic person, though. I’m sure I’d have been locked away by now if I was. So getting into his head and trying to think like he would has been rather difficult. Since the story is written from the main character’s POV, I didn’t have to write for him much, but he is the emperor of a society he built from the ground up. His mentality had to show in the “world” he created around him. So in that sense, I still had to get into his head.
His psychosis is a mix of what he was born with and his experiences growing up or at least how he viewed his experiences as a deranged man. So I had to first do a bit of research to find out how a psychotic person might view the world. Then I had to put myself in his shoes.
For a while, I could see the world as someone like that would see it, and it was a bit startling. It gave me nightmares. I have to say I was a bit tame when I started writing the story. The things that went through my head were much too horrific to share with my readers. At least to start with. I didn’t want to scare people away.
Drevin is definitely an interesting character though, and one of these days, when I’m brave enough, I might write a short story or novella from his point of view. I think some of my readers would probably enjoy something like that… maybe…
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2 thoughts on “Get your Weekly Fantasy Fix!”
Sounds like quite the experience.
The idea of a psychotic villain creating an entire society in his own image is certainly a strong one. I’ve often been drawn to stories where a character’s personality is expressed in a location. Silent Hill comes to mind, along with a film called The Cell, where the protagonist journeys into the mind of a serial killer. Both use setting as a way to characterize the antagonist, and I think that’s a very interesting idea.
At some point I want to write my own story about a world that exists entirely inside a character’s head, full of things they can’t choose or control.
Looking forward to reading Shadow Stalker.
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I don’t usually read dark fantasy, but I’ve enjoyed Renee’s Shadow Stalker series a lot. She’s a talented writer and she’s done a great job with it so far.
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