<i>In the Fast Lane</i>: Exclusive Excerpt In the Fast Lane: Exclusive Excerpt Audra North "He could hear that strong feminine voice in his mind." <i>Do Not Forsake Me</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Do Not Forsake Me: Exclusive Excerpt Rosanne Bittner "He always knew there’d be the devil to pay." <i>The Perfect Bargain</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Perfect Bargain: Exclusive Excerpt Jessa McAdams "He was right—she was too prim for that." <i>The Devil Wears Spurs</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Devil Wears Spurs: Exclusive Excerpt Soraya Lane "She swallowed, hard, trying to think of something witty to say."
From The Blog
July 2, 2015
Listening to Tessa Bailey's Officer Off Limits
PhoebeChase
July 2, 2015
5 Heroines Who Don't Care About Scandal!
Julie LeMense
July 2, 2015
Alexis Hall's Compelling Couple in For Real
Janet Webb
July 1, 2015
The Role of Family in Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy
Sharon Ashwood
July 1, 2015
Romance News: Reisz, Roberts, and Ward!
Heather Waters
Showing posts by: Virginia Campbell click to see Virginia Campbell's profile
Wed
Apr 6 2011 10:00am

Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Villains in Romance

Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. HorribleFor me, storytelling is all about character development. Character is the essential, crucial element that captures and holds my interest in whatever I am reading. In many story lines, the villain is an irreplaceable, integral component. The desire for power will always be the controlling factor in the existence of any society: Human, animal, or supernatural, there is always the quest for dominance.

Evil is insidious, but it is never simple, or just black and white. The more layers and shades of gray it obtains, the more horrific and invasive the evil becomes. Most humans have a touch of evil. It may be just a flicker, but it’s there.

True evil seeks out that tendency for evil in others and uses it for its own dark purposes. In fiction, good fiction, at least, even the supporting players, the not- so-nice people, and especially the villains should be well-drawn and multi-layered. Minor characters, sharply etched in a few well-chosen words, add such rich flavor to a story line. I like nice characters who have an unexpected naughty streak. I love naughty characters who are nice when they least expect it themselves! I like characters who are basically defined around the edges, but still flexible enough to be surprised and revised. A “complete change of character” is not really believable, and it's also not very interesting. It's the little flaws, “uh-ohs,” and “ahs” that make for a readable character.

[More on the characters you love to hate...]