Wednesday, December 20, 2006


An interruption in the diary, zipping back to the present day. One of the things discussed at Viable Paradise was villains, how a villain (like every other character) believes him/herself to be the hero of the piece, and his/her actions to be justified, even praiseworthy.
I'm retelling a fairy-tale, and fairy-tale motivation is not novel-character motivation. Okay, no problem, I do understand my villain, Midame, and I know why she does what she does.
The difficulty is in conveying that to the reader, because I never write from her viewpoint, and much of the story is spent away from her. She's seen only in memories, and when she does appear, she's disguised, and the protagonist doesn't recognise her.
So how does the reader ever understand her actions? I was so bothered by this I was beginning to sympathise with the Bond villains and their fondness for explaining their plots to the imprisoned hero.
But I think I have it now. And if I do it right, the reader will only later put it together, and it won't be an info-dump. This is how it might work--Midame is disguised as a kind woman who's taken a disabled girl under her wing, and she and my heroine talk about foster-mothers, touching on some of what went wrong between my heroine and her aunt-guardian (Midame). The woman does not attempt to defend Midame, on the contrary, she sympathises with Myl. But what she says about her own care for her foster-daughter, and how the girl has repaid her with loyalty is aimed at contrasting that with Myl's lack of gratitude towards her aunt.
It'll take work and revision, and it needs to be brief, but I'm happy with the idea. Woo!

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