Every day from now until Song Quest by Katherine Roberts is back in print and her new novel the Sword of Light is released, I'll be sharing with you a question posed by me and answered by Katherine. The most in depth answers ever offered by an author in bitesize daily doses. Enjoy! And my thanks to Katherine for taking part.
If you haven't read my review of Sword of Light, follow this LINK.
More information about the Song Quest Campaign can be found HERE.
Let's talk about villains. How do you go about writing a believable fantasy villain? I once read that you can have characters in fantasy novels that are just evil without giving any back story about how they came to be that way. Do you think that's true or do you think that even fantasy villains need a source from which their evil develops?
Ah, yes - every book needs a good villain! And fantasy villains are great fun to write. I do have trouble making mine totally evil, in the same way my heroes and heroines are not totally good, because in my experience people are just not like that... but while adults and older readers appreciate shades of grey in characters, younger readers tend to prefer things to be more clear cut.
I think as you go down the age range, you need to make your villains darker and your heroes brighter, so in my new Pendragon Legacy series I have gone for a dark villain in the shape of Prince Mordred, crippled in battle and out for revenge. In contrast, my heroine Rhianna, King Arthur’s daughter, is more feisty than I usually write. But she does have her faults... she's human, after all!
I would not write (or enjoy reading) a fantasy book, even for younger children, that did not have some back story for the main characters, including the villain. Just because a story is set in a fantasy world does not mean that the people in it are not real to that world. In fact, you probably have to work a bit harder at making them seem real than you would if they lived in our "real" world… if that makes sense!
That makes perfect sense! The good characters need flaws in order for us to relate to them. The bad characters need a human side in order to make their evil deeds convincing.
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Rhianna Pendragon, heroine of Sword of Light, is on Twitter. Follow her here: www.twitter.com/PendragonGirl
Tomorrow, Question 7!