Yeah, I’m a linguist.  I know the word ‘badder’ doesn’t exist in English.  And I know why it doesn’t exist.  So unless you want a dissertation on morphological processes, you might wanna let that one go.

Back to our regularly scheduled programme…

LUCKY THIRTEEN, like all thrillers, has a bad guy in it.  I read somewhere that it’s a rule for thrillers.  If you know me, you know that I’m not a big rule-follower, but this one seemed pretty important.

What I want is simple.  I want my bad guy to look like this:

IMG_4012 - Version 2
Thought I was dead, didn’t ya?

Actually, I want Bad Guy to look worse.  The little fella in this picture, at about seven inches from head to tail-tip, is a pretty harmless specimen.  I know that, because I dragged him out of my indoor fish lake pond in our Sri Lanka house a couple of years back.  Neither I, nor my husband, was harmed in the process.  I can’t say the same for Mr. Heterometrus and his mate.

So how does one go about the daunting task of creating a Bad Guy without making him too soft or too bad?  How do we create layers of evilness overlapped with glimpses of good?  How does our Bad Guy take on more than one dimension?  And, above all, how do we make our readers — and our protagonist(s) — fear him?

When I find out, I’ll let you know.

Nah, actually I have some pretty good ideas.  And I promise to share them soon.

Leave a Reply