Everyone is a Villain Until Proven Otherwise

Posted on 05/09/2011 by

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I had a number of responses to my call for petty villains on Friday but nobody specifically prepared to let me kill them out of hand. Which I have to say strikes me as a lack of commitment on their part.

Arkem: While I might be a villain, I would not consider myself petty and thus would prefer not to be killed out of hand
Me: Don’t worry. So far I haven’t managed to kill anybody
Arkem: Aren’t you worried that it might be interpreted as a sign of weakness?
Me: Well I’m trying. I definitely have the plan to kill somebody (really, I wrote this teeny scene where their head blew up. It was awesome. I just don’t know who they are yet.)
Arkem: Doomed from the very first. Tragic.
Me: Yeah. Very sad. Really I just want to do it to foreground that it can happen (the head blowing up thing) but it’s a sort of funny scene. So he should be a bad guy. Or Gray and Jamie are sociopaths. Honestly it could go either way.
Arkem: Those are not mutually exclusive, perhaps both is the correct option.
Me: Mn. Don’t think Gray is a sociopath though. Not totally sure about Jamie just yet.

I was thinking about this afterwards and I realised that one bad guy that I already have is trying to kill Jamie because he thinks Jamie is dangerous (not untrue). And another one is trying to kill Gray because he <redacted>. Their logic is not at all unreasonable. If this book was in their perspective Gray and Jamie could quite plausibly be cast as the villains of the piece.

So I made a declaration: Everyone is a villain until proven otherwise, including the heroes.Cookie jar made to look like the Death Star with the caption 'Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies.'

And then I suddenly felt way more affectionate towards every walk on character in the book. (Trying not wonder what that says about me.)

In the meantime guilty until proven innocent is proving to be a much more entertaining way to go into the story.

Me: And you know what that leads to.
Rick: Fear. And the dark side.
Me: No. Pyjamas. Which are good times. Unlike the dark side. (thinks) Actually, the dark side probably is good times quite often.
Rick: Mm, cookies.