I’m forcing something on the Benhá story. Unfortunately I can’t place exactly what. So right now, I’m waiting around for it to ease into place.
Allow me to don the villain’s POV for a moment here. Since the villain or the actions of the villain are what I’d expect Charming to overcome, maybe it makes sense to find out what the villain would do to achieve his goal.
Roundmartin is Charming’s uncle. He’s performed some heinous act|crime around|slightly prior to|because of her birth. I’ve presumed killed a lot of people. He’s punished for the crime and done his time, but is still labeled by it. He can’t get work; can’t get respect; can’t catch a break. This pisses him off because he feels not only contrite but also mother-fucking paid up. Why can’t shit be back the way it used to be before I massacred all those people? No, really?
To some degree he’s looking for acceptance. He’s got it in his head that Charming will understand because they share the same affliction: dermatographia. Or maybe just because she’s family.
Released from prison—or maybe escaped—he seeks her out. For some reason the mechanism he uses to find her produces more victims than a simple phone call might.
Just when he locates her that bastard monk Gane, who had some involvement with his original imprisonment or crime, locates her and whisks her away to a secure site.
Now, Roundmartin has to hack away at that security. He does so via dermatographic entreaties to Charming as well as outright attacks on the monastery which together cast suspicion on Gane or other monks. When this finally drives Charming out into the open he’s got to figure out where she’ll go. It’s not hard to guess she’d go back to Benhá. But that’s pretty fuckin’ easy for anyone to figure out.
Eek! Brainstorming something else must get pen and paper. Bye!
326 words on day 565
“Planning?” Roundmartin asked back in the same tone you might question someone just now calling you a motherfucker. Then he went mellow again accepting his fate. “Planning? Planning. Scheming even I suppose. If you could call what I’ve been up to planning certainly you could call it scheming? And if you called it—this—scheming you might as well come right out and call me the bad guy. That’s where you’ve set me in your story. In your plans,” he paused to slather the bit in the original motherfucker tone, “Isn’t it Gane. Isn’t it Holy Man?”
Gane said nothing. Charming didn’t hesitate, “You burnt all of this out looking for me. You killed all these people. My friends. Just to find me. And you couldn’t even do that. Well here I am.” Her Song encompassing gesture sagged but then angered back up to a chest pointing accusation.
“Nice manners.” Roundmartin never looked at Charming he continued stared at Brother Gane. “You might inform her that we like to play this game with a bit more…I don’t know…finesse? I’d have hoped you’d have brought her up better. When one entrusts his baby girl to the care of another they develop…expectations. You know?”
209 words on day 509
I just don’t believe that bad people know they are bad. This notion makes me think I’ll be able to construct compelling villains. I also makes me think that it will be harder to do so. How does an author compel good people to do evil things?
If you think you are in the right, then your actions won’t be evil in that sort of innocence way. Me stepping on a bug isn’t great for the bug, but I don’t spend much time thinking about it and neither do those around me that see it happen–survivor bugs excluded. So for me that’s not evil. At these extreme, evil become solidly tied to the perspective of the actor. That in turn erodes the concept that some event or action can actually be inherently evil.
So now the doer of evil has to be aware of the results of his actions. Which makes the challenge of having bad people that don’t think they are bad more challenging. Maybe you alter the perception of the bad guy. The audience and maybe the good guys don’t perceive a large enough gap between the bad guy and themselves to fall into the bug extreme, but the bad guy does. So bad guy sees bugs; good guys see other guys that ought to be good.
That path lends itself to a caste system or to just outright discrimination.
Another version of that might allow me to have bad guys that just don’t care about what happens to strangers. It’s OK for me to squish bugs and humans alike when I don’t know either one of them and my actions either won’t be found out or they won’t be judged harshly by my peers.
That’s how I get to dictators and leaders of groups and countries. If you are surrounded by fellows that don’t believe or can’t know what your actions are doing to others then you bad guy is golden.