On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Villains -- Writers' Brains

I don't consider myself a great villain maker. Many of them are over the top evil...like the Dark in the Lladrana series or T'Elder in Heart Thief. Usually the Heart books do have a little mystery/suspense, but I always expect the reader to guess who it is. When people DON'T guess who the villain is I'm surprised and flattered.

My mentor is primarily a romantic mystery writer, so plot and mystery comes first. She was unhappy with Heart Journey because the villain didn't really show up until the end -- in a mystery, the villain should definitely be introduced early in the book with other suspects.

Now, I have two henchmen who are doing a lot of theft/vandalism, but the villain stayed off the page.

I thought a lot about this change and figured out how to fix it...the wonderful thing about writers' brains is that usually we CAN fix something if we believe it needs to be done, no matter how weird it can be. But it takes time. If I was on a hideous deadline that wouldn't let me think about something for a week, I might have left it as it was.

I considered many things, characters I'd thought of introducing but didn't...a cartographer rival of Del's for instance. I thought of how long the book was and how many pages I'd already cut. Finally the answer came to me. So yesterday I went back and dropped the guy in for as much as I've made the changes from mentor so far. I want at least one more mention or scene and I think I'll be good.

May you enjoy twisting your mind today.


Blogger Tannun said...

I wonder how much advice you take from your mentor?

And do you find it hard to keep the book 'your voice' and not slant it towards your mentor's?

11:24 AM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

I take my mentor's advice when it resonates with me, and since I value her opinion on plotting craft.

As for our voices, they are quite different!


11:47 AM  

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