<i>The List</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The List: Exclusive Excerpt Tawna Fenske "Will Simon’s big secret make that the one fantasy that can never come true?" <i>Any Time, Any Place</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Any Time, Any Place: Exclusive Excerpt Jennifer Probst "She liked the press of hard muscles against her soft curves..." <i>Ex-Con: Part 1</i> Exclusive Limited-Time Release! Ex-Con: Part 1 Exclusive Limited-Time Release! Katana Collins "They take what they want. And what they want is you." <i>Afraid to Fly</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Afraid to Fly: Exclusive Excerpt L.A. Witt "Just thinking about kissing him was enough to—"
From The Blog
January 20, 2017
Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Men with Dogs & Babies
Jen Wattley
January 19, 2017
Meet-Text? Romances That Began as Text Relationships
Jessica Moro
January 19, 2017
Karen Marie Moning’s Feversong SPOILER THREAD!! (MAJOR SPOILERS)
Jessica Avery
January 18, 2017
Top 5 Highlanders in Romance
Anna Bowling
January 17, 2017
Romance News & Deals from Christie Craig, Colleen Hoover, and More
Heather Waters
Showing posts by: Virginia Campbell click to see Virginia Campbell's profile
Wed
Apr 6 2011 9:00am

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...]