Friday, 15 February 2013

Guest Post: 5 Villains You Love to Hate by Tara Maya

This is my second post in connection with the blog tour for Blood, the sixth book in Tara Maya's The Unfinished Song series. See my release announcement for the book here. Today I bring you a guest post by the author.

Written by Tara Maya

Evil people make terrible neighbors, but riveting characters. Whether walking the streets or resting among your bookshelves, here’s a breakdown of your five basic villains.

1. Minions
This guy doesn't mean to do evil. He just works for Evil Inc. He was "just following orders." He's the guy who was in the Milgram experiment and kept pressing "Torture" even though he felt bad about it, because, well, that's what the man in charge told him to do. The big problem for Minions is that they might not deserve to die, but they are probably going to come between the Hero and the Big Bad, and so the Hero has no choice but to mow them down or at best, shove them, hard, out of the way.

2. Thugs and Thieves
These guys may also be minions, but they aren't so hot at following orders, unless the Big Bad puts the fear of smackery in them. These are the kind of guys, who, when they capture the Hero or Heroine, have to be held back from hurting them prematurely. Remember the orcs arguing about whether they could eat just the legs of the hobbits?

Most bad guys don't think of themselves as bad guys, but thugs often do. They like to think of themselves as totally bad ass, and even as evil. It's not that they don't have a moral system. They do, and it's a simple one: "What's good for me is good. What's bad for me is bad."

3. Crazy Mummy Fracking Wacko
This bad guy is just whacked. Maybe it would be more fair to say that this person is sick, not evil, because his brain just doesn't work right. He hears voices. The voices tell him to do bad things. If we had the ability to lock this person up and administer the right drugs, perhaps we could help him, but right now he's running free and the voices are telling him to kill small kids and use their skulls as party balloons. He's smart and cunning and he has got to be stopped.

4. Well Meaning Tool

This isn't really a bad guy. But this fellow is no mere Minion either. The Well-Meaning Tool is busy paving the road to hell with Good Intentions. Lenin used to call these guys Useful Idiots. He'd invite a stream of idealistic, intelligent people to come see the Worker's Paradise, at a time when millions of people were dying in gulags and from collectivization-imposed famine, and wine and dine them and show them a few model villages, and send them home to rave about how well Communism worked. Alas, even a century later, a lot of these Well Meaning Tools still teach at our universities.

Well Meaning Tools aren't evil but they (inadvertently) give evil a pass.

Your hero himself, at times, may end up being a Well-Meaning Tool. What is the difference between a hero and tool, in the end? The hero or a "good guy" character, will ultimately be able to ask, "Are my actions having the effect I think they are?" But a tool never checks back in with reality.

5. Tyrant
In my books the worst bad of all is the tyrant. He may be like the wacko in that he has his own reality, he may be a thug in that he defines morality as what's good for him, and he may be a tool in that he does all this in the name of a Great Good. But he has two things in greater proportion than all other baddies: power and persuasion. He inspires and he compels.

Now I think it is important not to forget the first part. A truly dangerous tyrant is as charismatic as he is powerful. Classically, the devil tempts and seduces and entraps. What this means is that the tyrant not only has a plausible argument in his own mind that he is good, but he manages to convince others of this as well.

The scary thing is that guys like this can gain fanatic followers. They gather a bevy of Tools and Thugs and Wackos and Minions, the Well-Meaning Tools on the Good Guy side give them a middle European state, and and next thing you know, they're invading Poland. Don't think it could happen again? Don't be a Well Meaning Tool!

About the Author
Tara Maya has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia. She’s pounded sorghum with mortar and pestle in a little clay village where the jungle meets the desert, meditated in a Buddhist monastery in the

Himalayas and sailed the Volga River to a secret city that was once the heart of the Soviet space program. This first-hand experience, as well as research into the strange and piquant histories of lost civilizations, inspires her writing. Her terrible housekeeping, however, is entirely the fault of pixies.

Social Media Presence
Twitter | Tweet about Blood! Use #TUSBlood.

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