Falling In Love With The Bad Boy, Is It Wrong?
Posted by Autumn Jordon Mar 15 2017, 12:01 am
Recently, in the Winter Writing Fest Chat-room while talking about how we get to know our characters and develop their arcs, I stated that my villain in HIS WITNESS TO EVIL actually came to my house. Some thought that statement was cool. Others raised their brows, with little icons of course. Well, I’m here to tell you he did—figuratively he did.
While writing His Witness To Evil I had such a great handle on my hero and heroine, John and Stephanie. I knew their dreams and secrets. Heck, I even knew what toothpaste Steph liked to use and which gun was John’s weapon of choice.
However, when it came to my villain, Victor, I knew he was the bad guy, stole money and wanted to do really bad things to John and Steph, but not much else. When the plot line of my book started to look like a sway back mare, I knew I had to invite Victor into my home.
It was a snowy, blustery night when he came to my door. The tree tops howled as the raging winds bent them at odd angles and mad gusts picked up handfuls of snow and sent them to the swirling heavens. Was God telling to be careful?
I stayed alert as Victor followed me into the living room. He paid no attention to my DH who watched a football game on the television and DH paid no attention to Victor, until later.
I asked Victor to sit beside me and while he shrugged off his calf’s skin leather jacket, folded and draped it across the sofa’s back I picked up my pen and notebook. My first question surprised him. “Why did you dye your hair platinum blonde?”
A micro-second before his gaze darted away, I saw Victor’s insecurity. His answer surprised me. I hadn’t expected the Russian Mafia prince to show emotion over his hair. The reason why he colored his hair was just the tip of Victor’s emotional iceberg. An iceberg I probed, digging for the real Victor.
Over the next hour we talked about his life, his career choice, his feeling toward Steph and John and his relationship with his family. I could see his mannerisms and hear his forefather’s dialect, even though he tried hard to mask it.
I couldn’t jot notes fast enough. When my DH decided it was time for Victor to leave because it seemed I was having too much fun with the guy, I had this overwhelming sense that a friend was leaving my home and would travel on a dangerous road. In my mind, I cautioned Victor about his actions and where they might lead him. He simply smiled, and said “Sometimes a man has no choice. He must do what he has been trained to do, without question.”
After the door had closed behind Victor, I dashed off two new chapters. One was inserted into the front of the story because my readers had to know the real Victor and what motivated him to carry out the acts he did. The other lifted my sagging middle up and gave the plot new life.
To this day, Victor is one of the favorite characters I’ve written. I will admit I loved writing about him, and in his voice. Yes, he is a villain, but after our meeting I understand his whys and his secrets and his dreams.
Do you have any advice on ways to develop interesting characters?
His Witness To Evil
Autumn Jordon is the award-winning author of romantic suspense-mystery-thrillers such as her Golden Heart Finalist and Golden Leaf winner His Witness To Evil. After her family business was comprised by The Russian Mafia and the FBI investigated, she grabbed her note pad and pen and went on to interview the agents. Join her newsletter at www.autumnjordon.com and be privy to upcoming releases, sales, and events. Also, you’ll receive free reads and be entered into her monthly contest for great prizes