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  • Writer's pictureLaura L. Zimmerman

That villain, and why I love him.

I have a confession to make. I’m in love with one of my characters.

Ok, maybe ‘in love’ is a bit dramatic. (Me? Dramatic? No!) But I’m sort of feeling very attached. In a totally normal, non-stalkerish, happily-married, not-crazy-at-all-for-obsessing-over-an-imaginary-person type way. Promise.

So, here’s the deal: The most recent rough draft I finished is a fun YA story that of course, features teen romance somewhere in the plot, because hello, hormones. But there’s got to be tension and the more I got to thinking about it, I realized maybe I didn’t want the heroine to end up with the guy I originally thought would be her dude. Enter another dude – equally handsome and charming, of course! Now there’s maybe some jealousy, and our poor heroine is so confused – amidst all the other physical drama that’s happening around her. But that’s ok, I said to myself! I’ll do the old foil character, and make the new guy a villain in disguise, which will then send her into the arms of guy number one, at the appropriate time.


Except for problems. Problems like, the more villain guy and heroine girl would spend time together, the nicer he truly was. And, oh dear! What’s that? He’s actually developing real feelings for our heroine girl? This can’t be! Not with the sinister plan at hand! Oy! The further I got with the story and the more I got to know who he really was, I realized I liked him. Really, really liked him. And the heroine did, too. He was such a good guy deep down inside that he didn’t even join in the evil scheme at the end. Poor villain-turned-good guy! Major identity crisis!

All this wouldn’t be such a big deal, since the book ended, and all. Except for one thing.

The sequel.

Yep, you heard it. I didn’t intend on writing another book to go along with the first, but at the end of number one, there were just so many questions. What happened next? How would it look for the heroine after such a dramatic life change? (*insert evil laugh here* You want to know what I’m talking about, now, don’t you?)

So, I began writing another story. And guess what? Our lovable villain returned for the next installment. He’s supposed to be nasty, not sweet and cuddly. But now he’s back and I can’t stop it and the chapter I wrote this morning actually had them smiling and apologizing. Eep!! Say it isn’t so!

And here’s the craziest part – I think I might even like this guy more than our heroine does. For reals, people. I do. He’s so very different than the person I thought he was when I began this tale. In a better way. Much better.

So, what does this mean for the rest of the story? I’ve got no clue! Right now he plays a minor role, albeit significant. But I hate to lock myself into that line of thinking, when I know how much I like him, and how different a guy he’s become. Maybe the story will change. Maybe he will change. Heck, maybe I will change! Who knows?

What about you? Do you ever connect with one of your characters in a way that you wish you could meet them face to face? Feel free to confess below!

Happy reading, friends!

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