This morning, one of my tweeplets is here to post on love–not only for her protagonist, but also for her villain. Something I can totally relate to! Over on her blog, you can read a short story by yours truly. I know, I know, two in one week: how can you bear the joy and excitement?
And now, here’s my sAMurai!
When I love, I tend to fall for fictional characters. My husband is the rare exception. I’ve been revising my work-in-progress and my heart is captivated by my villain. Yes, my villain. His name is Duke Sinclair and he’s despicable – a truly horrible person who lacks humanity, and, indeed, a soul.
I’ve created a monster, a person capable of murder, and he lives and thinks through me. It’s disturbing, but in order to make him real, I had to first understand him, and then love him. No character can be genuine if they are incomplete…and it’s my passion to create voice and personality that combines realistic qualities with fantastic qualities. Sinclair’s immorality and cruelty are definitely defining characteristics, but he’s also ambitious and beautiful. His ability to control life – harness the energy of all living things – is a classic example of why power is destructive. No mortal is immune to every temptation, and true villainy is found in the crucial moment when a character capitulates to weakness. Duke Sinclair’s soul was the price of his need to have ultimate power…and I pity him for that flaw.
It is, obviously, easier to love more likable characters. My young Marine, my heroine, is an ugly duckling. She’s awkward, out of place, too powerful for her own good, and terribly unprepared for the task of confronting Duke Sinclair. She’s that nice kid, the one everyone ignores because she won’t fight for herself…but she’ll fight for the ones she loves. She’ll face down every challenge, even though she’s terrified and quivers like a harp string when danger carves away the peace she’s known her whole life. She’s honorable…and so very young. I don’t know what about naivety is so alluring, but Marine has that special quality in abundance. There’s something magical about having the guts to confront change; it’s almost intoxicating to witness.
Sadly, my ability to control the outcomes of my character’s choices is imperfect. Normally I wouldn’t admit to being compelled by the voices in my head, but I can’t honestly resist their natures. If Sinclair kills, he does it with purpose. If Marine hides, she does so with a queasy understanding of her own vulnerability. Neither can be controlled, because they are without my limitations. I’ve never had the urge to alter a character’s goals or temperament because that would be like trying to literally alter the moon’s gravity – totally pointless.
Not perfect, but genuine.
I get to express every nightmare and every unfulfilled wish, and my characters are my avatars. How could I fail to love such opportunities, such distinct creations?
A.M. Supinger an unagented fantasy author, a fantastic wife, a life-long bookworm, and an owl enthusiast. She tweets with wit and humor, and tells eerie stories based on her dreams and other inspirations at Inner Owlet.