The Villain’s End

I’m sure you have noticed in the majority of books that deal with good versus evil, the villain dies at the end. Unless it’s comic books and in that case the villains never seem to die.

It’s ingrained in our moral conscience that good triumphs over evil and the only way to defeat said evil is that it must be completely eliminated. Most wouldn’t be satisfied unless the world/story is rid of the evil villain. The death would also pay for the innocent lives related to the evilness. We want the world to be good. We want the hero to have that happily ever after so they no longer (ever) have to deal with the ordeal the author has already put them through.

But…

I would like you to keep the options open. Why does the evil villain have to die? Why would his/her death pay for those sins committed? In my opinion, a death seems too easy of an out for an evil character and imagination. I mean the possibilities are almost endless on how a person can die, but does the villain really need to die?

The biblical proverb of reaping what we sow would fit better. Make that villain pay for their deeds. I’m not saying that you have to go tooth for tooth, but surely more stories can end with the character being exiled or have a just punishment that involves the villain getting exactly what they feared.

Example: if the character feared loosing the game, make them lose it. If a villain fought against a country to try overpowering it, make the villain instead be overpowered and know that it was his greed that caused his army to fall. Or have all his commanding forces betray him by switching sides and he’s left with no power.

Or a twist – have the villain right their wrong. Think of the Grinch from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Think as the villain as human. We all make mistakes and some of those choices can lead us down a wrong path and once we’re on that path, it’s too hard to leave it.

Or have the hero and the villain be the same character. The hero makes a whole array of decisions and they keep snowballing to negative results only to have at the end the hero finally makes the right choice.

Or another twist – have the hero fail. How would the villain succeed? How would that change the story? Why does there have to be a happily ever after? William Shakespeare wrote several tragedies and they are successful, even centuries later. And if you try arguing that it was the era of limited entertainment and that was why his plays were successful – research that before assuming it as so. Copies of Shakespeare’s work were limited and on average were first published a couple of years up to several decades after the plays were performed (Shakespeare Chronology).

And you can’t get away without me adding another Harry Potter thought.

Consider Voldemort – it seemed simple that his final death was the result of a backfire of Harry’s disarming spell. It was a huge series of best selling books and movies world wide, but Voldemort death only took one paragraph. Sure they circled each other having a chat before the two spells were cast, but what if Voldemort didn’t die from the backfiring and he was actually disarmed then captured? If Voldemort was so focused on separating his soul into the Horcruxes so he couldn‘t die, than wouldn’t another option have been to have the last remaining piece of his soul sucked out by one of his own creatures, a Dementor? So then his body would be a soulless empty shell that he could rot away in Azkaban. Lets face it, that would probably be Voldemort’s first and only “kiss” regardless.

These are just a few suggestions rather than taking the simple death ending of the villain. Don’t stay within the little box. Step outside it and push the boundaries with your story.

“There is no ceiling on your potential” – Chester Bennington.

L. R. Mauck

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Weekend Challenge #23

challengeChoose your profession or a dream job and give a brief scenario of a plot surrounding the job. You can do any genre you would like.

For example: A murder mystery surrounding a bakery. A Chef discovers a rare chocolate. The chef proceeds to use it on the best choice of treats. However, when the rare chocolate is mixed with baking soda, it creates a strong poison.

Weekend Challenge #20

challengeTo related with my other post today (What’s in a Name?), I would like this challenge to make you think a bit more.

For your current WIP or a story you are thinking of, chose one of your characters and tell me why you named your character as such. Does their name relate to the story? A physical or personality trait? ect.


My current WIP has a sub-character that will influence the main character throughout the story. I chose to name him “Harrow”. Harrow means to “cause distress to”. He will be a father-like figure to the main character but his own views of the world they live in is of a twisted and hurtful nature. So, his guidance to the main character will cause distress.


Also, I was busy last Friday and away from computers and internet access, so there was no Weekend Challenge #19.

Weekend Challenge #18

This weekend, I’m giving you a word prompt.

The word: storm

I want you to tell me what storm means to you, or use it as a description (e.i. stormy eyes, or storm clouds approached), or in a poem, or even just a sentence from your WIP. The word itself can be storm, rain, thunder, etc.

With the recent hurricane in Texas and the flooding as it makes its way up the country, I know the devastation is in the forefront of our minds. As writers, it’s easier to get our thoughts and feelings recorded on paper.

 

L. R. Mauck

Weekend Challenge #16

Picture writing prompt: goblet

goblet

 

Use this goblet as an idea for a plot key in a story.

Example:

  • Fantasy – this is the goblet that anything poured within it whether wine or water, will allow the drinker a window into their future
  • Romance – this goblet was at an antique store that a woman really wanted it for her museum but the male owner couldn’t part with it because it had been in his family for centuries.
  • Historical – this is the goblet that one of King Author’s knights left behind at the round table.
  • Murder/Mystery – this is the goblet that held the poison that killed the unsuspecting victim.

Have fun with it and get creative.

L. R. Mauck

 

My Late Challenge Acceptances

Long Post:

I’ve been delayed on posting these. The first section is combined of the layering challenge – weekend’s #9 and #10. The second section is of the rope challenge.

A young girl entered the bedroom. Her brown eyes quickly scanned the stone walled room to find it empty except for the large canopy bed and a desk. She stepped to the bed and ran her fingers over the white bedclothes, feeling the different rises of the fabric. Her eyes gazed around the room again, looking for something. Her bare footsteps hardly made a sound on the wood floor as she walked quickly to the opened window. A cool summer breeze blew across her skin as she looked out into the night sky. She shivered. A wave of loneliness settled in her stomach as she took a step back. She was truly alone.

A small flicker of the candlelight drew her attention to the desk. On its surface was a blank piece of parchment with a quill resting in the inkwell. The girl absently toyed with her dark hair as she leaned over to stare at the parchment. Words slowly took shape as if a ghostly hand formed each letter with careful grace. Large black letters formed the words “I’m finally free”.

A knock sounded on the door. The girl quickly stepped away from the desk, but stood in front of it blocking the view from the door.

“Yes,” she said. Her voice shook with nerves.

“I’m sorry to intrude, my lady,” called a female voice through the door. “The King requests your presence in the great hall.”

“I’m…” the girl started. She took a deep breath. This was the start of the downhill slop that was to come. “I’m not my sister. I am Adraya.”

The door opened to reveal a short plump elderly maidservant. Adraya’s sister’s handmaid. She gave a short bow to the girl.

“I beg your pardon, my lady, but where is Lady Freda?”

Adraya sidestepped away from the desk and motioned towards the note. “She’s gone.”

The woman read the parchment with her eyes freezing on the three words. She handed the letter back to Adraya.

“I must inform the King.”

“Yes.” Adraya, moved to sit on the bed.

“My lady?”

“Yes?”

“May I request your presents to accompany me to the King’s hall?”

Adraya drew in a deep breath and released it slowly.

“I shall accompany you.”

The maidservant led them out of the room and into the stone hallway. It was a dark, gloomy walk with only a few torch lights guiding their path.  The castle was built with less windows in the floors closer to ground level to protect the hold during war time. However, it caused a lack of fresh air, leaving the rooms smelling musty.

There was a tall wooden door off to the side of the main entrance hall. Behind that door, Adraya knew the king conducted all of his business. There were whispers among the servants that the king had more visiting parties from surrounding countries with rumors of war and alliance requests. The girl wondered if it was the rumors that caused her sister to flee.

The knock of the maidservant on the doors left an ominous sound reverberating around the hall.

“Come in,” called a deep voice from behind the doors.

Adraya reached out with shaking hands and opened the door.

The room was dimly light by a handful of candles. The dark rich colored rugs and tapestries didn’t help the ominous atmosphere.

A broad man in deep purple robes sat at a desk, hovering over a stack of parchment. His eyes rose to watch the ladies enter the room.

The elderly maid stepped forward, giving the king a deep bow.

“I deeply apologize, your Highness,” she said, staying in her bow. “Lady Freda was not in her rooms.”

“Where is she?” he growled.

“I am not sure.”

“Then have the guards search immediately,” he answered, turning back to the topmost parchment.

The maid stayed in her bow and walked backwards to the door, then exited quietly.

“Father,” Lady Adraya. He didn’t show any signs of recognizing her. Adraya pressed on. “Father, my sister left a note on her table.”

The king raised his head to stare at his daughter. She step forward and placed the letter before him. He read over the words and sighed.

“She finally left,” he mumbled. “She had threaten to for so long.”

“Father?”

“As you know, I have no son,” he said. A tightness settled in Adraya’s stomach, but she knew it was wrong to interrupt him. “My cousin, Albert, is to take the throne after me.” Adraya nodded. She knew the line of succession. “However, we are on edge of a war with the Blackscott to the north. They’ve had several harsh winters and dry summers. They look to expand their boundaries to feed their people. I’ve made a treaty with Kalspots to aid us should the Blackscotts press too hard. Lady Freda knew she was to be offered in marriage. The King of Kalspots and his sons are older and married. I believe Freda’s hand was to be offered to a knight.”

“What is to happen now?” Adraya asked.

He exhaled deeply. “You’ll have to go in her stead.”

The growing tightening Adraya felt exploded within her. She wanted to scream, she wanted to cry. She wanted to run away as her sister had done. This wasn’t fair, her mind shouted. She knew some day she would be in an arranged marriage, but she hoped it was to someone within her own country.

“I’ll ask for a delay until you are sixteen,” he said. Adraya quickly calmed herself and bowed her head.

“As you command, I will do,” she stated with all the strength her upbringing expected of her.

“Good,” he said. “If Freda cannot be found, it shall be so.”

________________________________________________

The rope:

I thought of a metaphor for a story idea. Since I’ve never written a suspense story, I’ll go with that. The idea is of a girl who is being stalked, by what she thought was a stranger. At the same time frame, she starts dating this guy and finds herself falling for her. A group of friends tell her that she should invest in someone as much as she has with a stalker targeting her. One of her male friends (and ex-boyfriend) becomes concern over her welfare. The new boyfriend is jealous and suggests that maybe the ex is the stalker. She starts looking at the new boyfriend as her rock to sanity. The stalker increases his attempts to scare her and the ex steps up trying to help her. The twist is that the stalker and the new boyfriend are one and the same. The ex ends up saving her and she refers to him as her rope of safety in the time when she needed rescued most.

Just an idea.

L. R. Mauck