As with everything this month, Moon Dance Monday is late. However, I do have a decently good reason for this. I was actually trying to write the piece I wanted to include today. But it's taking way too long for that -- I've been at it for four and a half hours -- so I'll just switch my schedule instead.
Last week I showed you a glimpse of Kess trying to get ready for Christmas. This time, I want to let you guys have a glimpse of Avish. Now, Avilsh is Jay's favorite character. He is the primary villain of Moon Dance, and I promise you he can be utterly ruthless. But you're all going to see that no problem. With the holidays approaching, what I'm going to share with you today is a glimpse of Avish's (slightly?) more compassionate side. I'm also going to talk a bit about writing villains.
Writing A Memorable Villain
The big bad. Every story needs one in order to succeed. Whether it's another person, a boogieman in the closet or a supernatural force of nature. There has to be some type of conflict that is keeping your main character from getting from point A to point B.
In fantasy and paranormal fiction, the villain tends to be a person, generally thought of as an antagonist. I've always had a thing for villains. Most of my favorites are from video games and anime, rather then books. I'm not totally sure why this is. What I do know is that most of the villains I love have a reason that they feel is a good reason for the things that they are doing. A few examples:
-- Naraku wants to be a full demon so that he will not be stuck with Onigumo's human heart forcing him to love Kikyo, so that he will not become a collection of body parts once a month and so that he will be more powerful. Can Naraku do some totally wicked evil nasty stuff? You betcha! But at the same time he can be totally charming and charismatic. (from InuYasha)
-- Scorpius was raised by the Scarrens, the race that captured his Sabatean mother and caused her to become pregnant with him. A hybrid of two worlds that do not mix socially or biologically, Scorpius' life has been very hard. When he learns the truth of his origins and joins the Peace Keepers, he is ruthless in obtaining what he wants and achieving his goals. Yet he is a character who grows and changes. Sometimes I felt fear of him on behalf other characters, and at other times I feared for him. (Farscape)
-- Rephaim is a Raven Mocker, an immortal son of Kalona. He is responsible for the death of Anastasia, the rituals professor at the Tulsa house of night. And yet, Stevie Rae sees good in him and when she finds him wounded, she nurses him back to health rather then turning him in. They are from two separate worlds, basically, but they eventually fall in love. It's beautiful. (The House of Night series)
I think the best way that I can sum up what I try to remember when I work on a villain is what I read in a D&D Villains Guide that I own. It basically says: Even the most evil man has a dog somewhere who loves him. Further, most people do not do things with the basic justification of "I did it because I'm evil."
Anyway, read on for this week's sample from Moon Dance, and feel free to let me know what you think...
When Avish Met Cait...
*Note: This is from my rough draft. Nothing here is written in stone.
"I seem to recall telling you not to touch her." Kyden's movements were so perfectly silent that Avish had not seen him coming. Or were Josh's senses just that lousy? He couldn't decide. He noted his brother's anger and once again wondered what he saw in the stupid little human.
"She's with the Prince. I was checking for you." Avish stood at a ledge, looking down on the lower floor of the mall from over the glass and wood railing. What sounded good for lunch? Pregnant redhead? Scholarly old man? Lost toddler marinated in mother's tears?
"You have no idea what I'm planning."
Avish nodded. He'd give Kyden that. He had no idea what was up with his brother anymore. "Well, fill me in. I could help you."
"Look down there." Kyden was pointing at a short woman with wavy black hair accented by purple highlights. "She is what I'm after. Sarena is how I plan to get her."
Looking more closely, Avish put a name to the face. "Amelia Farrow. The medical child prodigy? Really?"
Kyden laughed. "You seem surprised. I've been playing chess with little Amy down there for years. She fascinates me."
"So the wolf wants a sheep." Avish grinned. "I like it."
"Don't confuse her for little red riding hood. Amy's smart."
Sure she was. But they were the Dark Prophets. The talk of who wanted who brought Avish's mind back to the events at the food court. Hadn't Cait ran off by herself? He rubbed his tongue against the roof of his mouth. To the bathroom. To cry.
Nobody would miss her. She was alone. It would be a quick and easy meal. He looked at Kyden, his mood brightening. Fast food had suddenly become very appealing.
"I've got stuff to do. See you around." He did not give Kyden a chance to ask questions. Clocking himself he moved through the mall with unnatural speed until he reached the washrooms. Entering the ladies', he could hear muffled sobs already. So Isabelle had not been exagerating. Cry baby Cait was still here. Perfect.
He focused his powers, concentrating on making the air in the overlit room pulse with gentle soothing energy. He had to get her to come out of the stall. No need to cause a big scene.
It took a few minutes, but she fell under the effects of his magic and walked over to the counter. Turning the water on she put her hands under the spray and used it to splash her face.
"Its just not fair." Her voice sounded so empty and dejected that Avish almost felt sorry for her. He allowed her to see him and came up behind her, one hand circling her waist. He pushed her long brown hair aside and brushed a kiss against her neck. "This is the ladies' room. You shouldn't be in here."
"Ask me to leave." His tongue found the pulse in her neck. It was beating rapidly. Her skin felt warm as he swirled his tongue over it. He watched her in the mirror. Her skin turned a becoming shade of pink, her bright hazel eyes closed slowly. "No, huh?"
"We're going to get caught." Her voice was soft, the words were taking effort. He smiled, enjoying the way that his powers effected her.
"Relax. I know what I'm doing." He let his teeth lengthen, scraped them against her skin. He bit down and let his mind open to her. How had he not noticed her before this? It had to be viewing her as Josh Gray. The simple human boy needed his eyes checked.
The taste of her threatened his control. She could not die. He had never felt something that sated him this way before. Something that, for even a moment, made the relentless hunger in his soul stop. She swayed and he circled her, held her to him. He swirled his tongue over the pinpricks, not wanting a drop of her blood to be wasted.
He closed his eyes, sought deep within himself. His power swelled, sated on the essence of her flowing within his body. He held his hand out, an exquisite Nightbloom, a rare flower of the Underworld, clutched between his thumb and forefinger.
He opened his eyes to examine his work. The blossom was a rich orange and glowed faintly even in the brightly lit bathroom. The stem was a translucent silver, then and delicate much like the girl in his arms. He lowered her to the ground and slid the flower's stem between her hands. "I'd stay with you if I could. I am sorry."
Making certain that he was fully cloaked he left the bathroom while he still had the strength to do so. Kyden's obsession with Amelia no longer seemed quite so absurd.