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Johne

What Makes A Great Villain?

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Thanks @Thomas Davidsmeier!  That gives me a lot to think about with my WIP. 

 

I'm starting to think I have a series brewing along the lines of Dee Henderson's and Dani Pettrey's books. Almost all of Dee's books tie together in some way with character's from the various books showing up in others.  And Dani does something similar between her Alaskan Courage and Chesapeake Bay series.  The protagonist in one book may be a supporting action in another telling a sibling's or friend's story.

 

It's not 100% the same in that the "villains" in their books don't get saved in the end.  So ultimately I may scratch that idea, not sure.  But, if I do set it up to where the villain eventually gets saved it will occur in a sequel and not the current WIP.

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I think you definitely could put a hook for another book at the end of one. I've got a writer friend who says that you should spend the most time on the beginning hook of your novel, and then spend just as much time on your ending "hook" that makes them want to come back for the next book. Might be a cool thing to work a scene in where the villain gives some signs of possible change and then in the next book it is completed and he's got to make his way through whatever situation he's in as a new Christian. A person who committed murder and repents to become a Christian and a changed man is a hugely interesting character, I would think many people would find them fascinating.

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See, and the opening iine of a spectacular book would be:

 

"I don't talk to the demons any more, just the angels. Wish the former came less and the latter more. But, whatever God gives me, I will persevere."

 

Then, it could be about a Christian who had once been a serial killer but converted. He gets called out of prison to help the cops solve cases. Like a reformed Hannibal Lector! What a crazy concept! He keeps resisting the temptation to escape. Wow, that would be another fun book to write. At one point, he would be released from prison because some "Innocence Project" types get his case thrown out of court even though he didn't ask for them to. The whole psychological plot of the book that involved his battles with temptations to return to his old super evil ways would be interesting because they would be like us regular Christians' everyday struggles with sin, but amped up to 11 with life and death in the balance.

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7 hours ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

A person who committed murder and repents to become a Christian and a changed man is a hugely interesting character, I would think many people would find them fascinating.

 

7 hours ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

See, and the opening iine of a spectacular book would be:

 

"I don't talk to the demons any more, just the angels. Wish the former came less and the latter more. But, whatever God gives me, I will persevere."

 

Then, it could be about a Christian who had once been a serial killer but converted. He gets called out of prison to help the cops solve cases. Like a reformed Hannibal Lector! What a crazy concept! He keeps resisting the temptation to escape. Wow, that would be another fun book to write. At one point, he would be released from prison because some "Innocence Project" types get his case thrown out of court even though he didn't ask for them to. The whole psychological plot of the book that involved his battles with temptations to return to his old super evil ways would be interesting because they would be like us regular Christians' everyday struggles with sin, but amped up to 11 with life and death in the balance.

I agree  @Thomas Davidsmeier, I think it is a character many people would be interested in. I know I am and I was told to "write something you would want to read, chances are someone else will want to read it too."

 

I was going to say, "I think I'm going to steal that opening line" because, it's a good one.  However, after reading the rest of your concept,  I think I might have to try and convince you to co-write the sequel with me.  I really want to steal the whole concept, but I won't. 🙂  It definitely has the potential of a book I would not only love to read but would enjoy writing as well.

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3 hours ago, RLHicks said:

I was going to say, "I think I'm going to steal that opening line" because, it's a good one.  However, after reading the rest of your concept,  I think I might have to try and convince you to co-write the sequel with me.  I really want to steal the whole concept, but I won't. 🙂  It definitely has the potential of a book I would not only love to read but would enjoy writing as well.

 

I've never co-written a book yet, so there's a first time for everything. I worry that I'd be super bossy about it. I've always got big ideas and never enough time to implement them. Man, I do want to write an outline for that novel/movie. Maybe I will in the next day or two while the idea is fresh and kicking.

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I think we can conclude that what makes a good villain is about a multi-faceted as what makes a good protagonist.

 

I always thought Sauron was a great villain, and Gollum.  One, you never actually saw, but only experienced through the narrative.  The other was up-close, treacherous, even when he didn't want to be.

 

I have three villains in the series that I'm writing.  Each one represents a different thing.

 

Edit:  And all of them have handlebar moustaches...

Edited by Jeff Potts
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23 hours ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

"I don't talk to the demons any more, just the angels. Wish the former came less and the latter more. But, whatever God gives me, I will persevere."

 

Then, it could be about a Christian who had once been a serial killer but converted. He gets called out of prison to help the cops solve cases. Like a reformed Hannibal Lector!

 

That's a little dark, isn't it?  Just saying.

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23 hours ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

Then, it could be about a Christian who had once been a serial killer but converted. He gets called out of prison to help the cops solve cases. Like a reformed Hannibal Lector! What a crazy concept!

 

Crazy, yes, because it would never happen. Sorry to rain on your idea, but I think part of vetting ideas like this is to make sure they're grounded in reality.

 

Could a serial killer have a prison conversion? Sure. Would one ever be called out of prison to help the cops solve a case? No, never. Maybe on TV shows like NCIS, but shows like that are so far away from reality that everyone I know who has served in the Navy roll their eyes and laugh at it.

 

Perhaps law enforcement might (and that's a BIG maybe) consult a serial killer while in prison. But letting a convicted felon, and highly dangerous individual out of prison to partner with the police? That's a big nope.     

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5 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

 

That's a little dark, isn't it?  Just saying.

 

Yeah, it's really dark. But, I'm not saying this idea would actually fly. Just coming up with stuff off the top of my head.

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5 hours ago, Accord64 said:

Perhaps law enforcement might (and that's a BIG maybe) consult a serial killer while in prison. But letting a convicted felon, and highly dangerous individual out of prison to partner with the police? That's a big nope.     

 

No, I wasn't suggesting that they were released from prison. I was suggesting that they were brought out for a day or a trip to a crime scene as think has happened before. I tried to look up examples, but quickly have decided I have no stomach for such at the moment.

 

Of course a very famous fictional example is in Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lector is taken to a scene to help and escapes.

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20 hours ago, Thomas Davidsmeier said:

I worry that I'd be super bossy about it. I've always got big ideas and never enough time to implement them. Man, I do want to write an outline for that novel/movie. Maybe I will in the next day or two while the idea is fresh and kicking.

I can handle bossy very well.  🙂  But seriously, you should think about it. I really think it's a great idea!

 

8 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

That's a little dark, isn't it?  Just saying.

Speaking as someone who had a very dark upbringing, life more often than not can be very dark. Especially if you don't have Jesus at the center of it.  He is the true Light that brightens our lives.

 

7 hours ago, Accord64 said:

Could a serial killer have a prison conversion? Sure. Would one ever be called out of prison to help the cops solve a case? No, never.

No offense intended, but I've learned to never say "never."  Especially when Jesus is involved because through Him ALL things are possible.  Probable, probably not, but possible, yes.  We are talking fiction after all, and while it can be based in realty, it isn't real.  That being said, I don't know that I'd write a serial killer character that was "released" to help solve cases (plural) but the idea that @Thomas Davidsmeier presented of having him escorted on a sort of field trip to a crime scene to help is intriguing to me.

 

I'm one of the many who actually likes NCIS and others like it.   I don't sit there watching it and think, "Oh, come on, that would never happen!"  I don't do that with any fiction genre.  Romance, for instance, I don't really believe it ever happens the way they portray it in books and films - some of which are kind of cheesy - but I like to pretend in that moment that it could.  Then when the book is done or the movie is over, I come back to reality.

 

The overall message in my book is "salvation and redemption is there for anyone who chooses to accept it and believe," while the reality is "not everyone is going to choose it."

 

 

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45 minutes ago, RLHicks said:

No offense intended, but I've learned to never say "never."  Especially when Jesus is involved because through Him ALL things are possible. 

 

Well, who could argue with that?  However...

45 minutes ago, RLHicks said:

Probable, probably not, but possible, yes.  We are talking fiction after all, and while it can be based in realty, it isn't real. 

 

Yes, but you also have to contend with the suspension of disbelief (The temporary acceptance as believable of events or characters that would ordinarily be seen as incredible).  If you put too much stain on this, then you'll risk losing the reader. That's a line we all have to contend with. 

 

Quote

I'm one of the many who actually likes NCIS and others like it. 

   

Who doesn't like their weekly Gibbs fix? But after a few seasons, and some very strained story arcs, the producers needed a Gibbs slap.

 

gibbs.gif.13b1a5a1475613c4e564325f8ebcb43f.gif

 

 

 

 

Edited by Accord64
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