Monday, June 4, 2012

I Found a Hottie in my Shower


Let me explain.

Last week I implemented a new rule. No email after 6pm until the daily word count is done. Daily goal is 1500-2K words a night. By some miracle, I obeyed my own rule and kicked ass on the word count.

And then Thursday afternoon showed up and while reading one of Jennifer Crusie's blogs, I realized that everything I'd written was not going to work. In fact, I'd repeated something I've done twice before. This couple was on a path to reach their happily ever after around page 50.

*Sigh*

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a confrontational person. I could argue with a stump. And probably have. So WHY cannot I not create conflict between my characters? Surprisingly I remained calm and started to brainstorm. The first two ideas were thrown out immediately. I'm not about to make my hero irredeemable and no way will I write a heroine who is too stupid to live and shallow.

Bottom line, that's not who these people are. But Chance pushed for me to bring in a villain. I balked and pushed and said flat out I don't write villains. (Which is a lie because my GH MS has a villain but I'm stubborn that way.)

I still don't have a villain, per se, but Manuel "Manny" Baker introduced himself to me while I was taking a shower this (Sunday) morning. Imagine my surprise. As an eternally single 40 year old woman, I don't often come across adorable 25 year old hotties in my shower.

If only.

Manny is still a bit of a mystery but guarantees me he has no problem stirring up trouble and plans to use all his charms (and maybe some underhanded tactics) to keep Lucas and Sid apart. At least for a while.

How do you feel about villains? Must have? Pure evil or just misunderstood? Met any characters in the shower lately? Gotten into a story and realized it wasn't working? (This goes for writing and reading.)

31 comments:

Maureen said...

BWAH HA HA! I love villains. I love villains who are born deep down evil, who whirl their mustache while chaining wagons of orphans in front of a speeding bullet train...

Juggling kittens while setting them on fire and planning a cooperate takeover which will lay off 10 MILLION people...

Ah. I love a good villain.

Okay, I also love a villain who doesn't see himself as a villain, just someone who has different goals and finds scruples easy to discard...because they were never present.

Okay, I also love villains who embrace their villainly...

I thought you needed a villain, but not like one of my villains...just someone who has a different view of what is best for Sid! Manny sounds sweet... ;-)

Stories that aren't working...well, I have at least six stores in stall...

quantum said...

Pure evil is for James bond (or Maureen) to handle, but a misguided, misunderstood villain with an unfortunate childhood is fun for a heroine to tame.

Now Terri, just how exactly did this villain make his presence felt? Did the sponge take on a life of its own or are we talking leaps of imagination here.Myself, I rather like to take quantum leaps when taking a shower! LOL

Di R said...

I have a villianess in my regency. I HATE her! Ugh. She's unrepently out for herself. She's selfish, sneaky, not opposed to using whatever methods are necessary to achieve her goals, and she's desperate. Never a good combination.

I am happy to say she's never visited me in the shower. LOL

Di

Marnee Bailey said...

Well, you're read my stuff. I can't write without a villain. :)

In fact, what did you tell me last week? That's right.... "You do like to make things hard on yourself." Bwahahaha!! Amen, sister. So true.

I never have the problem of too little conflict. I always have the opposite, where I come up with these intricate plots and end up pulling my hair out, trying to accomplish what I'd set out to do. I could stand to simplify.

But if you're going to have a villain, at least you picked a yummy one. Sometimes mine are heinous. What a downer.

TerriOsburn said...

Mo - I think I was balking because everything we were coming up with required Sid to do something out of character. But Manny is operating on his own and I think it's going to be good.

Q - A woman never loofahs and tells. ;) Let's just say I got Manny for Heaven. Heh.

Di - I know you hate writing in that woman's POV, but think of how awesome those scenes are going to be for the reader. You can do it! Have you ever read the Rogue series by Jo Beverly? There's a female villain that reminds me of yours. Therese is just eeeeeevil.

Marn - You DO makes things hard on yourself. LOL! At least if we have opposite problems, we can help each other out. And yes, I'll take a yummy villain like Manny any day. Especially if I'm going to shower with him. ;)

Day job stuff demanding attention for the next half hour or so but I'll be back!

MsHellion said...

Well, I really loved the Evil Queen in Snow White (the dark movie version that came out this weekend.) She was a true villain, but you could understand how she came to be. You could honestly pity her, though you weren't to sad to see her die, if you know what I mean. :)

I prefer my villains understandable, though not necessarily misunderstood. Though misunderstood isn't bad either if you plan to redeem the villain in another book.

I have not met any characters in my showers lately, but honestly I'm never in my shower long enough for a good loofahing of any body part. I don't have time to stand around in my shower; I'm in, I'm out, I'm out the door. I spend more time in my kitchen figuring out lunch than I do in my shower. This is where my priority lies.

I've gotten into EVERY story of mine and realized it wasn't working. I don't know how to narrow this down. *LOL*

TerriOsburn said...

But don't you do the soak in the tub thing? I can't do that, but I love me a long shower. Maybe a hero will hop in the tub with you soon. ;)

MsHellion said...

I read in the bathtub, usually a book or magazine, so no, no character visits. They know better than to bother me when I'm having me time.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

Terri - I love that you thought about this after the chat!

I think we can think of someone as a villain who is really just a roadblock - there is nothing bad or evil about them, but they are just in the way of the HEA.

So this could be really not a villain for you to write, but maybe think of him as a roadblock. :)

TerriOsburn said...

Exactly, Scape. He's a roadblock. Sort of like Mayne was back in Eloisa James' original Duchesses series. He ended up making a wonderful hero. I never thought I'd write more than three books on Ocracoke, but if Manny plays his cards right, you never know. In fact, I already have an idea who is heroine would be.

Crap. This is already getting out of hand.

Sin said...

I'm a shower thinker too. I never take a shower alone. There's always a bit of conversation going on in my head. It's mostly because rarely do I relax. The shower seems to be the only place I do that.

I also love a villain who doesn't see himself as a villain, just someone who has different goals and finds scruples easy to discard...because they were never present.

These are my favorites.

But I also like the bad guys being bad.

TerriOsburn said...

I knew you'd be with me in the shower....thing. (That almost took an awkward turn.) I was thinking about what Chance had said and figuring out how long whoever this character is would have been on the island because he's not going to appear in the first one (and I'm not adding him!) so he'd have to be on the island less than 6 weeks.

Then he just walked in out of nowhere. All the answers and his first name. Kiddo picked the last name. (Cuban mother and American father.)

The heroine in MTB is a female and there's nothing redeemable about her, but I think I make it clear why she's doing the shit she's doing. She's spoiled and hurt and after revenge. Not justified, but she isn't doing the stuff for no reason at all.

I think even villains have to have motivations. Could just be because he's insane, but that's still a motivation.

Maureen said...

I think you meant the villain in MTB?

Now, is Manny insane? Because that's a pretty scary villain to write...

TerriOsburn said...

Oh, yeah. The villain. LOL! The heroine is very nice and not villainy at all. LOL!

Nope, Manny isn't insane. He's young and a bit conceited and determined. Add in those good looks above and you can imagine he's used to getting whatever girl he wants.

He really wants Sid.

Maureen said...

There ya go! A villain who isn't killing kittens, just has a one track mind. Ought to the type that Lucas always found either intimidating or infuriating... To add interest...

TerriOsburn said...

He's the opposite of Lucas in some ways. Sid is mechanical. She can fix anything and works on boats for a living. She has every tool you can think of and completely restored her own truck.

Lucas wouldn't know a monkey wrench from a monkey's elbow. But Manny fixes things too. So he has things in common with Sid that Lucas doesn't have. Yeah, he's going to give Lucas a major complex.

Maureen said...

Cool!

P. Kirby said...

Terri Sayeth: Sid is mechanical. She can fix anything and works on boats for a living. She has every tool you can think of and completely restored her own truck.

I like Sid already!

I'm guessing, given the nature of stories you write, the operative word is "antagonist," rather than "villain." But, really, I'm splitting hairs. It sounds like what the story needed was the roadblock folks mentioned above, which in this case went beyond personification and straight to person. And a yummy one too!

Given the nature of what I write, "villain" is a necessity, and I prefer complicated villains. (But I went with outright evil in The Canvas Thief, because writing unrepentant evil was fun.) My urban fantasy stories, which are structured like mysteries, tend to have the main villain (the perp), with some co-antagonists thrown in for misdirection. Current WIP is more complicated because it's more epic in scope. I mean, there's a villain, but he/she initially appears to be the hero's friend; at the story's onset, the conflict comes from other more apparent antagonists.

I'm not sure I could write a story, even a contemporary romance without some kind of antagonist/villain. I love villains, some times literally; that's why I like anti-heroes.

Janga said...

I love Sid! I think she deserves two guys pursuing her.

I believe undiluted evil exists, so I have no problem with villains who are EVIL. But I don't think I could write one. Except for a soulless corporation in one ms,, my stories have antagonists rather than villains, ordinary people who for usually selfish reasons don't want the H/H together. So far no one, villain or otherwise, has visted me in the shower. Probably my very bad singing frightens them away.

TerriOsburn said...

You're right, Janga. She does! Especially two hotties. She is gorgeous after all. Witch. (And she has NO idea, which makes her even more gorgeous.)

It is a universal truth that if one make suddenly takes notice, another man will almost immediately. Even if the woman has been single for years. Happens every time, so of course it's going to happen for Sid.

Not sure I could write pure evil either, but then it might be fun. Though I couldn't do that thriller/RS type serial killer or anything. Nothing actually cruel and violent. Definitely couldn't write that.

I'll leave that to Hal, Pat, and Chance. LOL!

TerriOsburn said...

So we're making a distinction between villain and antagonist. Interesting. I wouldn't have thought that, but I do see the difference. Crusie is always preaching there should be an antagonist in every scene, but that doesn't mean the evil villain has to be in every scene.

Yes, Manny is the antagonist. But I'm thinking he might be good hearted in the end. Haven't decided, but he's pushing for it.

P. Kirby said...

Yes, Manny is the antagonist. But I'm thinking he might be good hearted in the end. Haven't decided, but he's pushing for it.
Mmm. Me likes. Antagonist/villain with the hint of redemption. Yum.

I'm inclined to think that all villains are antagonists, but not all antagonists are villains. Villains strikes me as a harder, more malicious force of conflict, their actions manifesting as something deeply emotionally or physically damaging to the protagonist (or to someone the protagonist values). An antagonist is simply someone whose goals conflict with the protagonist's. I think what Crusie means it that you have someone whose giving your protagonist pushback in each scene. Could just be the customer service rep who refuses to give the antagonist a refund for a faulty product.

Manny doesn't sound particularly evil. He's just a guy who wants the girl. :)

TerriOsburn said...

Hit it on the nose, Pat. There has to be something/one pushing back against the protagonist. Keeps things interesting and forces action/movement of the story. Unfortunately, I forget this ALL THE TIME. LOL! But I'm trying. And Manny is helping. Bless his hottie heart.

Maureen said...

Ah, to visited by such evil. The guy who wants the girl...

Yeah, I like to have both antogonists and villains in a story. Antogonists are longer lived and multi-dimensional. My villains, well...they are just despicable though I adore making them rational.

One day, I'll write a totally wacked out one, just for kicks.

TerriOsburn said...

You don't think the ones you've written already are totally whacked out??? LOL! (I feel like Rosie O'Donnell's character in League of Their Own when she asked Madonna's character if she really thought there were men left who hadn't seen her breasts.)

Maureen said...

Yeah, they've been rational. I want one who is really delusional...thinks blue is red... Who relishes being mad. Sorta like the old Joker or Riddler in Batman... Like Miguelito Lovelace in Wild Wild West... ;-)

TerriOsburn said...

RATIONAL??? I don't think it means what you think it means. LOL!

Maureen said...

Inconceivable! ;-)

moriahdensley said...

Interesting - the distinction between villain/protagonist. Along those same lines, I think the most compelling bad guy is not all bad. A little symapthy messes with the reader's head. So does a good guy who's not all good. (In small doses of course, or you have messy, unlikebale characters, somewhat like the cast of Desperate Housewives.)

Moriah Densley said...

(Yikes - sorry about the typos there. Been on the computer nonstop since this morning and it's getting to me. Apologies *sheepish smile*)

TerriOsburn said...

No worries, Moriah. Typos just make you fit in around here. LOL!

I love when the hero has those moments when you wonder is he a good guy or not? Actually heard that's a great way to create a page turner. Keep the reader guessing and she will not be able to put that book down.