Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger: Cindy Green

Contemplating Murder
by Cindy Green

The other day I came down the stairs with a book in my hand. Not exactly unusual for me, but my 10-year-old son asked me what I was doing. I flipped through the book in my hand and said to him. “I’m trying to figure out how to kill someone.” I gave him a smile and walked away. Being the curious boy that he is, he followed me into my room. “Who are you trying to kill, Mom?” he asks as if this was something he inquired after everyday. I laughed and showed him my book on Forensics. “It’s for the book I’m writing.” This time he smiled and said. “Yeah, I figured.” It’s good to know that my son knows I don’t carry homicidal tendencies—outside of the fictional world, that is. Then he sat down and together we figured out how the victim in my 3rd NovelTea series book would die and how the leads of the story would figure it out.

Romantic Suspense really is a fun genre to both read and write, especially when it comes to the villain as he contemplates murder, deceptions…even treason. I’ve found the exercise of getting into the head of a psychopath completely freeing and exciting. Why is that? Why is it so fun to be bad? I know my latest villain was just deliciously evil. But I wasn’t sure if I was ready to kill him off because his whole past hadn’t come to the fore just yet. It is a series after all. To write a really good villain, you have to understand why he does what he does. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to rob a bank or commit murder. You aren’t just evil to be evil. Something pushes us to that point. If an author can show you that path, it makes the villain that much more believable and real to life and the story becomes that much more engaging.

Think of some famous literary villains like Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello, Javert in Les Miserables, the Sherriff in the Robin Hood tales and ballads or even Voldemort in Harry Potter. Many times, the villain is the driving force of the story and your hero doesn’t shine as brightly without the reflection of that dark villain off in the shadows.

So, tell me, do you love to hate the villain? Isn’t there just something exciting in reading and writing a good villain? Why do you think that is?

To experience more of the villain in my NovelTea Series come by my website and read the Prologue from the villain’s POV. You can purchase A Night of NovelTea or NovelTea Next Door at The Wild Rose Press. They are both on sale through the month of November.

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Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, Fantasy, Suspense and Historical romance. Find out more about Cindy and her books at www.cindykgreen.com.

12 comments:

Sarita Leone said...

What a great post, Cindy! I am sitting here with a smile on my face because I'm always wondering whether such-and-such would kill someone and how much of this or that it would take to send someone off. So glad to know I'm not the only one who does it. :)

Your son sounds like a sweetie. Love it that he helped you out the way he did.

I'm very much looking forward to the next installment of the NovelTea series.

Thanks, Marianne, for bringing us this entertaining post! Hope you both have a wonderful Wednesday.

Diane Craver said...

Great post, Cindy! I loved reading
about how to write a great villain. I like writing a bad character with redeeming qualities. And a believable villain is important for the development of the hero.

MomJane said...

I really enjoyed your post. I am one of those people who can not plot a story with evil twists and turns. My mind just doesn't work that way. I envy people who can. I have not read anything of yours, but I plan to start. Sounds really interesting and fun.

Cindy K. Green said...

Hi Sarita! Yes, figuring out your villain can be lots of fun and necessary to a good story. I am trying to finish up NT #3 right now. It's more of a murder mystery but so much fun to write. :)

Hello Diane! Thanks for coming over. I think it's great you make your villains with redeeming qualities. In fact I was really careful with the antagonist in my historical as he became the hero in the sequel.

Hi Momjane! Writing suspense with villains and all took time for me. My first stories were far too sweet and I had no idea how to orchestrate an action scene. I still write sweet heroines with a slight edge and don't forget the humor. :) I have two FREE READS at the Wild Rose Press right now if you'd like to see how I write.

Anne Sorgeson said...

Hey Cindy,
Great job with the villian. I haven't written one yet. lol It makes you think about what you are doing though. :)

Linda LaRoque said...

I agree, Cindy. Sometimes it's hard not to love your villian and you so want him to reform and be a good guy, but then he wouldn't be a villian. Or, maybe have just one redeeming quality that would make us emphatize with him just a tiny bit.

I also like stories when the reader knows who the villian is but the characters don't. What is your take on this?

Linda
www.lindalaroque.com

Cindy K. Green said...

Hey Anne! Writing a villain is loads of fun. You must write one some time.

Hi Linda. I've read books where I, the reader, knew who the villain was but the characters did not. It came together great. I haven't done that myself yet. It's hard to do in romance unless one of your POV characters is the villain. My final NovelTea book will give POV to the villain--so we'll see.

Renee Knowles said...

Great post, Cindy! You son sounds like a sweetie :)

Hugs,

Renee
www.reneeknowles.com

Sandy said...

Great post, Cindy and Marianne.

I love writing really bad villains, but I've also written villains where the reasons they're bad tears you in the heart. My favorite villain is one with no redeaming traits. I don't want to feel sorry for villains. They choose to be bad even one who is a molester and then turns into one himself.

Sandy

Celia Yeary said...

Cindy--why is it fun to be bed? Or write about being bad? The Family Ministries young woman from our church had a class/coffeetime for young mothers--the topic for the year? "Bad Girls of the Bible." I don't know what the members learned but they sure had a good time.
So, yes, we love a good villian. I, however, tend to rehabilitate my villain--not every time, but sometimes I have to.
It's a good thing that you discuss things with your ten-year-old. It's best to let him be involved, instead of having him wonder what you're doing. Very good--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Cindy--read--"Why is it fun to be BAD?" in my previous post--Freudian slip? Celia

Faith said...

Yup. Love to hate the villain! Mwahahaha!