Saturday, January 28, 2012

Developing Villians

Ah, the bad boys and girls of romance and one of my favorite character types to develop.  Do they always run around and cackle Mahwawawawawawaw? Are we the readers allowed to like them?

The question is an easy one for me. Yes, not only are we allowed to like them, there should be something, we relate to--feel sympathic about. In the very least, we need to understand why they do what it is they do.

Why, you ask?

Motives. To understand why the villian does what he or she does, we need to understand what drives them. And the easiest way I know to do this, is to make the villian human. I'm not talking no paranormal or science fiction beings, I'm talking giving them human traits. Give them faults, give them challenges and stakes, the same thing you give your hero and heroine. Make not only the hero have hurtles, but give them to your opposition. Not all should be a cake walk--even for the bad guy.

So, I've included some examples of villians in my stories, that show you the human side of my bad boys and girls.

This first excerpt is from my WIP, One Shot. Notice that Smitty could be anyone one of our girlfriends. Perhaps you know or hang out with someone like her. In this excerpt you see a friendship, a relationship between the heroine and villian and it's not what you'd expect: 

“Catch.” Smitty tossed the bottle of shampoo to me. Somehow, I’d run out and forgotten to get more. We were the last two females to hit the showers. Smitty kept her mouth closed until we were alone.

“Thanks. I owe you until I can get to the exchange.” She nodded. It wasn’t an issue. I’d have done the same for her.

“If you actually went when you should have, instead of…”

I closed my eyes and stuck my face under the water, hoping to drown out what came next. Here it comes, the proverbial, I told you so.

“Smitt. It was one mistake. I won’t make it again.”

“I told you going to that bar was a bad idea. He’s an instructor, Audra. Do you have any idea how deep in shit you’ll sink if they find out? You haven’t learned a thing. I saw the way you were looking at him. He winked. For Christ sakes. If I saw it, you can bet someone else did.”

“I know, I know.” I scrubbed my hair, working my fingers through it. “I promise to be a good girl from now on. No more Staff Sgt. Yummy.”

“Why don’t I believe you?”

I turned to her. “I promise.” I crossed my heart. “I’ll do my best to resist temptation.”

“You’ve got your work cut out for you.” She grinned. “Did you see his ass in those shorts?”

I laughed. “Who didn’t?” I closed my eyes and could visualize digging my nails into it. God, the man flipped every switch in my body. I heated up just thinking about him.

“You better crank that dial to cold, girl. You’re turning red thinking about him.”

I snapped my head in her direction. “You checking me out in the shower, Smitt?”

She laughed. “Duh. Yeah. But it would still be like doing my sister, so don’t get any ideas.”

I threw my washcloth at her. “I’ll leave the chicks to you.”

“Chicks and pricks, Audra. I’ve told you a thousand times…”

“Yeah, I know. You’re bi.”

She gave me a salute and turned off the shower. As she walked by, she cranked mine to cold. I screamed, jumped back and snatched a towel, snapping it at her. She yelped and went for hers.

A loud pounding on the door ended our fun. “Hey, we’d like to get in there sometime today.” I eyed her and started to giggle. There had to be a line a mile long outside. What had they heard? What did they think was going on behind closed doors?

“What’s going on in there?” said a voice a little hoarse and a little strained. Yup, the power of the, male mind, thinking from between his legs. How’d I know? The boy’s brains had gone into overdrive and the longer we remained behind a locked door, the bigger the stories in their heads would grow.

“Nothing you boys could handle,” Smitty yelled back through the door. “Just a little female bonding.”

“That’s not going to help.” I shoved Smitty, giving her a dirty look. The last thing I needed was for the guys to fantasize about us soaping each other up in the showers. As if being one of six women in a male dominated unit, surrounded by alpha chest-thumpers, wasn’t bad enough.

“It’s okay. We used all the hot water. They’ll get over it quick.” She laughed and pulled her robe on while I did the same.

“You’re incorrigible, Smitt.”

“The one and only.” She opened the door and stared into half a dozen male faces. “They’re all yours boys. We’re done here.” She brushed past and started up the stairs. Mouths dropped open and eyes followed her. I shook my head and started after her.

“It’s not what you think,” I said. But their expressions said otherwise. No, they didn’t have to think. Their cocks had taken over.


In this excerpt, you'll meet Ian Saefa, my villian in Slipping the Past and discover the roots of his obsession with Jocelyn Miller:
Justinus eyed her from across the room. Handsome, powerful and wealthy, everything she should desire. He’d been a friend from childhood. They used to sneak out and ride together, play in the fields and they even learned about sex together. He’d been her first and at one time she thought herself in love with him. But lately he’d taken on a serious air, watching her with hunger, always questioning where she went and with whom.

“Where were you this night, Jocasta? I came by earlier.”

She shrugged and twisted a beaded bracelet on her wrist, a trinket Augustus purchased for her earlier. “Taking in the celebration.”

“Did you attend with someone?”

She glanced up and caught the look in his eyes. Fire. Lust. Her stomach fluttered. “Alone.”

“You shouldn’t go out unescorted. A beautiful woman could find herself in trouble. I might lose you to another lover.”

Jocasta laughed. “You tease me, Justinus. You’re not my lover.”

“I tease not. I’ve asked your father for permission to marry you. He has agreed that the arrangement would be quite satisfactory.”

“Marriage?” Jocasta’s heart thumped in her chest. She could do worse. She cared deeply for him, but regardless she could never love him, not like the Centurion with the amber eyes.

He rose from where he’d reclined and walked toward her. “I’ve loved you all my life.”

She tipped her head back and stared into his face. “You’re my closest friend and I love you as such, but not as intimately as you profess.”

“I hope it will become so much more.” He knelt before her, pulled a bundle wrapped in bright fabric from the folds of his military tunic and held out a jeweled collar. “I’ve had this brought this all the way from Egypt for you. I’ve heard Cleopatra wore something very similar. Here, take it, a small token of my affections.”

Jocasta glanced down at the beaded bracelet she wore and back at the lapis and gold collar. “It’s lovely.”

He reached forward. “Lift your hair.”

Jocasta shook her head. “I can’t take that. I’ve fallen in love with another.”

Justinus’s glared and a tick pulsed in his jaw. His black eyes looked darker, full of rage. “Who?”

“Does it matter?”


“His name is Augustus. He’s a Centurion.”

“Augustus?” Justinus’s eyes fell, a frown creased his face. Pain burned across his countenance.

“Justinus?” There was more there than he was saying. “Do you know him?”

“He’s my brother. Anyone but him. I can’t kill him, but I can’t let you go either. I could never let you go.”

And last but not least, is an excerpt from my WIP Jericho Rising, the sequel to Last Flight of the Ark. Here you meet Kera, Col Caleb Titan's daughter, or the child he thinks is his daughter:
Kera wrinkled her nose. The planet was plagued with the stink of the hybrids and she’d have to live with it until they rid their world of the parasites. If not for the Terran government, she wouldn’t exist—she’d known before she’d hatched they’d been the last pod of children, missed by her father and his crew when they’d landed, and her mother, a hive queen, had intentionally left her behind to help restore the population to its former glory.

With all the colonists, they could grow an endless supply of fresh food and maintain their growing population without traveling to other worlds. The Terrans were unaware they’d become livestock. The hybrids tasted foul and would eventually have to be eradicated. No sense in fouling the food supply.

It didn’t take long for the government of Colonel Kaleb Titan’s world to take over and lock down the city, finding the hidden pod and activating the incubator. If not for their psychic abilities the government of Earth would be unable to use the technology of her people—so they’d elected to keep the hatchlings they’d discovered, which she communicated with daily by telepathy.

Even though her surrogate parents believed she belonged to them, and she looked exactly like Jessica, she didn’t. She’d consumed the umbilical cord of her adopted mother’s other son, and took on his genetics almost immediately. Her DNA was convincing evidence that she belonged to them when she’d been tested—any discrepancies were put off as part of the mutation.

As an infant, she’d been aware they’d switched her, wrapped her in the bloody rags of the hybrid child they’d replaced her with, to give her his scent—actually she’d compelled them to do it. She’d had a superior intelligence, trapped in an infant body—had been aware of all that went on around her and had a mind unlike anything they could possibly believe an infant could possess. Even though she’d been hours old she’d been able to manipulate the weaker minds to her biding, and knew that she simply needed to bide her time before her plan came together.

Since the pod-children shared many of the genetic traits of the hybrids, it made sense for the scientists to hide them among the hybrid population until they needed their special skills.

Her parents were blissfully unaware that Earth command had treated her for her allergies and once she hatched, they’d replaced their son with her, and many of her other hatchling brothers and sisters with other hybrid babies. She used Earth Command for everything she could, exchanging information on the hybrid colonies for favors, and had access to many things the hybrids could only dream about, including the hidden prison full of hybrids taken from their parents at birth—children they were unaware of—the lab rats of the Terran scientists.

Most of all, she’d discovered where her mother had hidden the weapons she’d need to take back their world.

Soon her brothers and sisters would be strong enough, and the only weapon the Terrans had possessed, had been foolishly destroyed by their own hands in their greed to control the alien technology of her world.

Have a great Saturday.


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