This week, we talk villains. (Cue organ music and sinister laugh.) Specifically, we talk about the antagonists we love to hate. And sorry for the lateness this week–I just finished revisions on my second book, MILLIONS, and am sort of the walking dead at the moment.
1) Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. This book has been on my mind lately with just the perfectness of this tale. I love that the antagonist is the anti-hero in this book. I never truly hated Ebenezer; I felt pity and embarrassment for him. I think the truly wonderful antagonist isn’t someone you just hate; after all, there aren’t a lot of people out there we just “hate.”
2) The Arsonist on THE CLOSER. In THE CLOSER, there’s a character who kills women by lighting them on fire, and everyone knows he does, but he’s still released from prison on a technicality. Knowing that he’s 1) guilty, 2) free and 3) interested in the heroine in a creepy way makes for some great tension for the viewer. Too bad he just got hired for another show, which means THAT story thread’s never gonna get tied up. ARGH!
3) Bridget in MILLIONS (the book I just turned in today). The teen girls who read my manuscript told me they totally had a Bridget in their schools–someone who is all about her own self-interests. She’s never out-and-out evil, just spoiled. Very spoiled. You-won-the-lottery?-Buy-me-a-Coach-bag spoiled.
4) Grandma Mazur in the Stephanie Plum series. You gotta love an old woman with a shotgun in her purse and a penchant for open-casket funeral viewings. She keeps getting in the way of the heroine’s life, sorta along the lines of that big stone ball trying to mow down Indiana Jones.
5) Global Warming in THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Okay, you totally, TOTALLY had to take a leap of logic with this film, but if you did, you were sucked into worrying if our beauteous Jake Gyllenhal was going to die from instantaneous freezing or escaped zoo animals. In the end, Gyllenhal kicked Global Warming’s butt by surviving and becoming cuddlebuddies with Emmy Rossum.