Heroes & Villains – Part 5 – Article from Red Adept Reviews

This was posted on Red Adept Reviews site. Since I’m included in this particular post, I thought I’d share it on my blog, even though it was from a few days ago.

From the site:

For this article series, I asked authors the following questions:

Does your book contain a “Hero” and a “Villain”?

Are they based on yourself, someone you love/hate, or just from your imagination?

Is your hero perfect or flawed?

Is your villain inherently evil? Does he/she have any redeeming qualities?

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Consuelo Saah Baehr, author of Best Friends:

When we think of a villain, we think of the murderer or the thief or the mastermind of a deadly scheme. In my novel, there is an unlikely villain: Alden starts out as a psychological meanie who punishes his wife and child by being distant and cold. He deteriorates into a dangerous psychotic who goes haywire. Alden is not a charming villain and it’s hard to like any part of him. However he fulfills his dramatic purpose in the book brilliantly. If the characters have a destiny they must fulfill, they all need Alden to help them get there.

The most clearly defined hero in the novel is a little boy, Jeremy. He remains loyal and loving to a distant father (at great personal cost) and to his emotionally stunted mother and even to his captor. All of these people are from my imagination although the general plot is based on the few years I lived in a posh area where old money, old estates and their bizarre inhabitants were plentiful.

Readers will be left with mixed feelings about Alden. They will understand that his behavior is pivotal and appropriate to the plot and in that sense they will be satisfied.

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Cliff Ball, author The Usurper:

Does your book contain a “Hero” and a “Villain”?

Gary Jackson is the ‘villain’ in the novel, mostly because he was raised to be one from birth. However, as an adult, he is given a choice to continue with his mission, and decides to go ahead and keep doing what he was raised to do. He makes it his sole mission to destroy the US no matter what, even wanting to betray those who have helped him rise to power.

The hero is Dale Stewart. He is in the military, but, when the military is disbanded for the most part, he is forced to join the new version called the Civilian Defense Force. He follows orders without question for a while until he starts seeing stuff that is contrary to how the government is supposed to treat its citizens. He switches sides, and then supports the resistance movement.

Are they based on yourself, someone you love/hate, or just from your imagination?

Gary Jackson is based on fears of what would happen if the United States ended up with someone as a leader who wasn’t what they seemed, and his colors are finally shown when he is sworn into office. Not based on anyone in particular, but he and the hero are based out of my imagination.

Is your hero perfect or flawed?
Dale isn’t perfect, he just wants to survive and do what he’s told at first. Later, when he sees what blind loyalty will do, he makes a decision to resist.

Is your villain inherently evil? Does he/she have any redeeming qualities?

He was raised to be evil, at least from our point of view. I gave him no redeeming qualities, because I wanted people to dislike the character.

After reading your book, how do you want readers to feel about your hero and villain? They’re welcome to feel however they want towards either character. I would like them to see that something like what the villain does could be a possibility, or it might never be a possibility.

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Jasmine Giacomo, author of The Wicked Heroine:

Does your book contain a “Hero” and a “Villain”?

Yes. My villain, Onix Oolat, Hand of Power of the Cult of Dzur i’Oth, does not see himself as evil, but as a savior who is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his grand plans for the world. My heroine, known usually as Meena, but having many names throughout the eras of the book, is the opposite. She’s crotchety, irreverent, secretive and rude to authority figures, and doesn’t see herself as anything other than a cursed woman trying to balance the scales of history…by doing whatever it takes.

Are they based on yourself, someone you love/hate, or just from your imagination?

They’re entirely fictional and not based on anyone. I got all my Mary-Sue-ness out of my characters during the last millennium, and real life villains don’t deserve my free publicity.

Is your hero perfect or flawed?

Truly, madly, deeply flawed. Yet, as my heroine, she must struggle onward nonetheless.

Is your villain inherently evil? Does he/she have any redeeming qualities?

No. He used to be a fisherman’s son, just a common lad with common desires. Once he tasted the power of magic, and he learned of his homeland’s true legacy, he devoted the rest of his life–and the lives of countless innocent victims–to rising to power within the secretive cult and to restoring Shanal to the glorious seat of magical power it once was. He’s been altered, shaped unknowingly, by the many magics he has stolen from others, though, and there is barely any humanity left in him. As with most irredeemable villains, Oolat has within him the seeds of his own destruction.

After reading your book, how do you want readers to feel about your hero and villain?

Meena is brusque and manipulative, but also capable of caring about the fates of others. Oolat rules by fear and desires power, and does not care for anyone else. With that slim distinction, there is a lot these two have in common…except that they are on opposite sides of a centuries-old conflict. I would want readers to find that distinction, and see that Meena strives hard to hold to her humanity when she has many reasons to discard it, while Oolat has sacrificed his in pursuit of his goals, never recognizing its true value. The choices we make when the world shreds around us are what keep us human.

About Cliff Ball

Author nine novels, two BA's, a Technical Writing Certificate
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One Response to Heroes & Villains – Part 5 – Article from Red Adept Reviews

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