Sunday, January 6, 2008

Does Your Villain Have a Point?

Over the years I have tried on several occasions to read the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. I've always struggled with the idea that it was "Science Fiction". I like my Sci Fi to be more science driven than something written in the 40's or 50's. But finally I have succeeded. I am about half way through the final book, That Hideous Strength. One of the things I noticed while reading the second book, Perelandra, was that Lewis was able to almost convince me that the bad guy, the Satan figure, had a point. He had a very convincing argument, and I could see why the Eve figure could nearly be persuaded to go against the desires of the creator.

This really came home to me as I have been rewriting the last chapters of Crimson Swarm. Does my villain have a point? Does his war against humanity have any shred of validity? So I gave him a chance to pitch his best argument. I let him stand up on his soapbox and tell us why he was in the right, and why he should be listened to, and you know what? He had some pretty good arguments. I took my main character, my hero into an audience with the big baddy, ready to do battle with him, and was surprised when he was persuaded to reconsider his actions. That was so cool. Of course I can't just leave him there. I still have to resolve the conflict, but how much richer it has become because I gave the villain a chance to argue his case. I love this writing stuff.

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