--Guest Post by Meredith Bond
I love antagonists. I love to think about what makes them tick. What makes them do what they do? It’s the antagonist’s job to stop the hero from doing what they want to do, or getting what they need to get. Anyone can be an antagonist – the sweetest, most wonderful little, old grandmother could be a child’s antagonist if what the child wants is a cookie, and she’s not letting him have one because there’s only half an hour until dinner.
The most fun and wonderful antagonists are those who are just plain mean. All right, those who are nasty and cruel and heartless are fun too, but they’ve got to be mean, at least to my mind. But they can’t just be mean for being mean’s sake. They’ve got to be mean for a reason. They’ve got to have a really good reason for being that nasty to my hero (whom I love – always).
Not only do villains need a good reason to be mean, but they’ve got to have what one of my writing students called “fuzzy socks” (I love that term, and I use it all the time now). “Fuzzy socks” is that wonderful feeling get on the coldest day of winter when you snuggle up with a pair of warm, fuzzy socks on your feet. You feel good. You feel warm and comforted. Everybody has that warm, comforting, wonderful part to their personality. Yes, everybody! Even the meanest, nastiest, most cruel villain. At some point in his life, he was loved or he loved someone – even if it was just his mother for the first few moments after his birth before she left him in a dumpster. It’s those “fuzzy socks” which I like to discover within my antagonists.
In my novel, Magic in the Storm, the villain is my hero’s mother, Tatiana – yes, his own mother who wanted to kill him just moments after his birth! Why? Because he was male, and she was expecting a girl. His father saves him, but his mother hates him and is horribly cruel to him throughout the poor guy’s childhood. But what made her so mean? And what are her “fuzzy socks”? Where is the good in this villain? That’s what I set out to find when I began writing Storm on the Horizon.
It’s the story of Tatiana as a young woman, and how she meets and falls in love the man who becomes her husband (the one who later saves his son from her wrath when he was born the wrong sex). We get to see who Tatiana is, what she’s like, and we get a glimpse of how she became the woman she is in Magic in the Storm.
Do you ever wonder what makes a villain who they are, or why they do all the horrible things they do? Have you ever tried looking for someone’s “fuzzy socks”?
Storm on the Horizon is currently free at Amazon, Apple ibooks, All Romance ebooks, Kobo and Smashwords. Magic in the Storm is available everywhere.
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