Evolution of Villains

Tammy: It’s fun to do villains like Roger and Ozorne, don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have the guy with the cape and the mustache proclaiming, “I’m EVIL!” The only problem is that so few people who do others wrong in RL are like that. They are more like Blayce and Ben, both based on criminals in RL.

And don’t hold Daine’s not-quite-humanness against her–she isn’t really all human to start with.

Tim: Well, um – it’s more one of those “talk it out until a cool idea hits” things. Originally, Wyldon was supposed to be a villain, period, who’d throw roadblocks in Kel’s way at every step and ultimately betray Tortall. But the more Tammy thought about it, the less she liked it, and the more she couldn’t get a handle on his character. “Misogynistic right-wing traitor” just wasn’t cutting it for her, for some reason….

So what happened was what so often happens when she’s planning or working on a book – we got to talking about it, b/c often a second viewpoint lets an author see different things. (Personally, I believe any man who doesn’t think women can fight is a misogynistic right-wing traitor, but that’s what was hanging up up, so…. <g> Tammy herself doesn’t really believe most men who don’t want women in the military are evil, just really old-fashioned and set in their ways – so I said why not try that for Wyldon, instead? And then I had one of those silly brainstorms and said something like, “Oh, and this would be a kick – Kel ADMIRES him b/c he’s what she wants to be, and he doesn’t know how to deal with it!”

I say “silly brainstorms” b/c most of the time, they are. Tammy might credit me publicly w/changing Wyldon’s character or Daine’s change of heart about Stormwings – but what she doesn’t say is that I also suggest things like Alanna should run off w/Elvis so she could “marry the King”, or make The Dominion Jewel “The Spatula of Power”. Now, aren’t you glad I don’t write Tammy’s books…? <g>

Tammy: And it was you who said I wouldn’t be happy with Wyldon as being all bad. Don’t you remember? I stared at you, gap-jawed, because you were suggesting that a conservative might not be evil. (Tim has major authority/conservativism issues, for those of you who don’t know.) You acknowledged the irony, but pointed out that I was uncomfortable because I don’t usually see people as all bad, and if I do, the result usually gets tossed or rewritten completely.

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