I’ve been writing through the third book for a couple weeks now. I’m about 30,000 words in, which is really exciting. So exciting I might start bouncing.
One of the key developments in this book is that we not only get to meet the mysterious redhead who has been flitting about everyone’s visions for two books and learn her back story, but we find out that her back story includes one of the series Big Bads…before he was a Big Bad. Back when he was just Kinda Naughty and didn’t know what to do with himself.
The Big Bads often have some sort of Traumatic Life Event that takes them from being Kinda Naughty and maybe even contemplating Being Good to becoming the Big Bad. They don’t seem to cope well with stress.
I made a little graphic for you to illustrate this transformation, but I am
a computer genius technologically illiterate, and its glory would burn your eyes so you have to click this link instead.
Anyway. The point of all this is that my Big Bad has a couple of sympathetic moments, especially when you realize he’s the dude from the the flashback. I thought about making him super conflicted and broody for a while, and while he kicked and screamed and dragged his legs behind me like a tantrumming toddler, I came to the decision that he wouldn’t do that. This guy is nothing if not decisive. He knows what he wants from life and the choices he’s made.
So no tearing him up inside. Because he’s already dead inside. The parts of him that could store any sympathy or compassion pretty much rusted away years ago. Besides, their story is tragic. It’s supposed to be. And he’s not a part of her life anymore — he’s just not.
So my Big Bad is not a Big “Fuzzy” Baddie. He’s not going to get any less terrifying. I thought he might for a minute there, but what do Big, Traumatized Bads do when someone makes them feel weak?
Something really, really Nasty.
Even though I know what happens in my story, I know how it all plays out, and I’ve known for a while what the Ultimate Big Bad was up to, seeing it coming just over the horizon now is rather sobering. It’s going to put my protagonists through hell, along with a big chunk of the world.
When all is said and done, though, I think it’s shaping up to be pretty…epic.
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