Thursday, November 01, 2012

Mountains Novel: Villains

Last year's NaNoWriMo novel is an complex mess of travel, storytelling, fighting and swears. I honestly don't know why I haven't tried to sell it![1] Anyway, November has rolled around so it's time to have another go. I've been a little more organised this year, with outlines and characters done in advance and nearly finished.  Having forced out 1700 words of story this morning, here's 3 villains, defined in the simplest storytelling terms: What do they want; Why can't they have it; and Why do we care?

Our Villains as the Story Opens

The Garnet Prince

What he wants: To be King of the World. To Marry the Princess. To be Respected and Feared by All

Why he can’t  have it: The High Kingdom controls the passes. The Princess doesn’t want to marry him; the King doesn’t want her to marry him; the King wants the Prince (his son) to succeed him; even the Vizier doesn’t want the Garnet Prince to succeed, though he’s willing to make concessions and make it look like he does in order to further his own nefarious schemes.

Why we care about the Garnet Prince: Show don’t Tell is advice they give you. Well, stuff that, I’m keeping him off-screen (off-page) and just have people tell you how cool/scary/dangerous/badass he is. There will be contradictory details. The most reliable witnesses will have the most outrageous stories.

The Vizier

What he wants: To be the power in the High Kingdom. To influence the King. To make the Prince dependent on him. To put his family into the offices of the kingdom

Why he can’t have it: The King is not quite past it. The Prince is hot headed. The Princess is smart and strong willed. The other nobles, especially the army officers, have too much influence on the institutions of the kingdom.

Why we care about the Vizier: He’s the Vizier! He has a magnificent turban, a goatee beard and moustache. He’s scheming and evil! But wait. He’s ALSO the man who makes the Kingdom work, who stamps out corruption when it gets out of hand, who turns the King’s whims into well thought out plans, who acts to make the Kingdom stronger.

Dead a Hundred Years

What he wants: What he wanted when he was alive: to be King. Also, he, like all the dead, has an unreasonable hatred for the living.

Why he can’t have it: He’s been dead a hundred years. Also there’s a King, a Prince, a Princess in the line of succession; also a Vizier standing in the way of any potential rulers; finally the Garnet Prince will annex the High Kingdom if everything fall apart.

Why we care: He's been dead a hundred years. Also unreasonable hatred of the living. What's not to like?

[1] Not serious.
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