Welcome to more NaNoWriMo prep. Last week I talked about how I created the basic story idea from my two main characters. So this week, I’ll talk about how I developed the idea for the villain of the story.
I started out with something very nebulous. I knew that the two MCs were kidnapped by a den of wolf púca. (For those not familiar with the term, púca are a type of shapeshifting trickster faeries.)
But I couldn’t just have this entire den be evil villains. That’s way too many people and the world of the Swords and Shields series is far more complex than that.
So the púca needed a ‘master’ who was the brains behind both kidnappings and actually had motivations and feelings and reasons behind why he had his minions capture them.
So I started with the minions. Why would they go so far as to kidnap a three year old child and later a queen just because their master told them to? (I like to make my ‘bad guys’ just as well developed and emotionally motivated as my ‘good guys.’)
I haven’t decided exactly how many of the púca are going to be true minions. The entire den owes loyalty of some sort to the master, but the ones holding Michi and Órflaith are the true believers of the bunch, the incredibly loyal favorites of the master. However, I have decided why they became true believers. Their master saved them when they were fairly young from an unjust punishment for a crime they hadn’t even committed. This was the initial reason for their loyalty and over the years their master has encourages that loyalty partially through real friendship and kindness and partially through intentionally coercive behavior (he is a villain after all).
So that covers the minions. They can be real people with real motivations (which I’ll have to figure out in more detail soon) but they also have a good reason (to them) for doing harm to my MCs.
That left me with the ‘master’ to create. Since I haven’t named him yet, we’ll call him Master for now.
I wanted him to have a good reason to want Michi under his control as well as some motive for revenge against Órflaith for some wrong (real or imagined).
So I made Master a High Sidhe who is aiming to gain control of his own court and thus become a king himself. Ambition makes a great motivator right? And what better political power than the ability to control someone who can create more of Faery? So capturing Michi makes sense.
Revenge against Órflaith takes a little more planning.
So I decided the best motivation would involve someone Master loved. Master had a younger sister (we’ll call her Sister for convenience). As far as Master is concerned Sister was kidnapped by an evil vampire who forced himself on her and got her with child. Sister was visiting Órflaith’s court when this happened and Órflaith sheltered Sister after the abduction so she could have the child. Because of the convoluted nature of Fae Courts and loyalties and all sorts of other weirdness not important to this story, that meant that Sister’s son was a member of Órflaith’s court rather than Master and Sister’s court.
So Master feels that Órflaith is responsible for not protecting Sister, and for keeping her there to give birth, and for keeping the child when Sister had to return home. This gives him believable and even a little sympathetic motives for wanting revenge against Órflaith. Combine that with his political ambitions (a queen makes a great political hostage right?) and his need to control and develop Michi’s abilities (something he believes Órflaith capable of) and we have motivations for out villain.
So that’s how I create a good bad guy.