marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

temper, temper

Once was at a SF con panel where a panelist held forth at length on the necessity of making the villain's motive clear, human, and understandable.

I asked about what happens when the hero doesn't know the villain's motives, and sometimes doesn't even know who the villain is for much of the story, and showing the point of view of the villain, or someone who fathoms him instead, is unwise structurally.

The panelist's basic reaction was denial:  you can always show the motives.  Even if the heroine realizes that it's her loving uncle who so evilly cursed her brother half way through the book, and the uncle himself doesn't appear again until the last two chapters -- when in no mood to explain anything.

sigh

Meanwhile, in the middle of having my heroine's elder sister being spiteful and petty and cruel to her, it occurred to me that actually, she doesn't have it in for the heroine.  She is furious with anything -- animate or inanimate -- that thwarts her in anyway.

So how to make this clear in the first two chapters before she rides off to heroically rescue herself from  a curse and ends up heroically captive and not to see the heroine for many chapters, in a single point of view book.
Tags: heroes and villains, motivations, point of view
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  • omnium gatherum

    The omnium gatherum of monsters, used D&D and the like, is not wise in a novel, because it is very hard on unity of theme. But there is the…

  • for the birds

    Wading through the story, throwing in birds here and there. Enough to ensure that the reader knows that there are always birds, often of strange and…

  • the DM vs the writer, monsters

    Was contemplating a book full of monsters and stats. . . . You don't want to use the omnium-gatherum in a novel. Lacks unity. OTOH, you often don't…