Monday, May 18, 2009

Just how bad is your villain?

I have made no secret of the fact that I HATE my job. For those of you who don't know, I manage the bakery at our local Wal-Mart. Now don't get me wrong. I like the girls on my crew. They're a great bunch and they work really hard. We try to have a good time and get the job done too.

No, the reason I HATE my job is that it has become a mind-numbing, soul-sucking trial of apocalyptic proportions. The reason? The villain of the piece - the store co-manager over my area. His name is Tony and he is the most arrogant, insufferable, self-righteous, know it all bully who has NO respect for women on the planet. We are contemplating taking up a collection to send a sympathy gift to his wife!

So, Tony the Bully got me thinking about villains. What sort of villain do you like to write? What sort of villain do you like to read?

Do you prefer the over-the-top obvious villain, like the man whose voodoo doll hangs from my rear view mirror? (Tony keeps complaining of back pain. I need to jab those needles a little lower!)

Do you like the subtle villain - the one you know is going to hurt someone, you just can't figure out how?

Do you like the psycho, unpredictable villain? The one you watch unravel while everyone around him has no clue - including your hero and heroine.

Do you like the villain who MIGHT be able to be redeemed in a future book?

Come on. We want to know your deepest darkest secrets when it comes to the villains you envision.

How much is too much, when it comes to villains? How do you write them and are the easier or harder than a hero or heroine to create?

And finally does anyone else have a really obnoxious boss they want bumped off? My buddy at the alligator farm is running a two for one special on body disposals. Alligators are one of the most efficient ways to dispose of a dead body. Don't ask me how I know that!


Karen Beeching said...

I know how you feel. My current supervisor is wonderful, but I've had numerous managers over the years that I've had to kill off (yes, in books only!).

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with that. I do believe karma kicks back on these people. Not that it helps to know that (especially when you'd like to be there to see them roast).

I love all of the villains you listed, depending on my mood. Very specifically, I adore the villains I sympathize with, who are almost redeemable but not. They've crossed the line and can never go back.

Well, look at the bright side. At least you're close to the chocolate in your job. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

I know what you mean about karma, Karen, and thanks !! I would really LOVE to see this smart-mouthed bully get his!

And you've described one of my favorite villains. The guy that goes right up to the end with the possibility of redemption and then just steps over the line never to come back. It's even better when he KNOWS what he's done and can't make himself come back.

Carla Swafford said...

"At least you're close to the chocolate in your job." Oh, Karen, that's so funny!

I've had several turkeys for bosses, but the creme de la creme (stinky kind) was many years ago and I use to imagine doing all kinds of mean things to him. Many that would place me in prison for a long, long time. But the best day was when I had a customer send me a dozen red roses and the hateful boss asked, "Who sent those to YOU?" I told him the truth, "A customer that wanted me to know how much he appreciates me as I'm the best customer service rep he's ever dealt with." I refrained almost stuck out my tongue at him. It was a lovely day. LOL!

Most of my bad guys believe they're helping people. That he knows what is best and it's always comes back to what is best for him.

Louisa Cornell said...

What a great way to get even with a nasty boss, Carla! I almost wish you HAD stuck your tongue out at him. This guy is a real piece of work! I don't think he would make a good romance villain though. At heart he is a coward and I like my villains strong enough to give the hero a run for his money!

Theresa Ragan said...

Ooooh, the alligator is a good idea!

I like all types of villains. I liked how the terminator became a good guy in the terminator movies. But I also like the silence of the lamb sicko and I really like when I have NO idea who the villain is and the book or movie shocks me with the big reveal. I LOVE Lisa Gardner's books but in the last one I read I kept thinking, "Okay, this will be great as long as the killer is NOT the UPS man." Guess what? It was the UPS man!? That ruined it a little for me. She's still one of my favorites.

So, I'm no help at all. I like all long as they are punished in the end!

I feel for you with the boss thing. I've never had a horrible boss. I hope you changed his name to protect the innocent (YOU!). :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Oh no, Theresa, the UPS man? Now I'll be paranoid every time I get a delivery!

Like you I love all kinds of villains so long as they are well-written. And if I don't know who they are until the end it is even better.

In The Raven's Heart I had one villain who was the murderer and you don't find out who he is until the end, but I had another villain who popped up as a co-villain and it ended up being a real surprise even to me.

M.V.Freeman said...

I feel your pain in so many way's Louisa.

I'd complain about my boss..but you know its all been said. :)

As for villians, I like the one that is dark, evil, and funny (picture Sheriff of Nottingham-Alan Rickman).

I also like the predictable a**, they're easy to manipulate.

But over all I like a mix.

Hang in there with your boss, what goes around comes around eventually (Preferrably with a cake on his face.)