it’s true: stories really are only as good as their villains

Got halfway through Chapter 7 of SoA (185 pages so far!), which actually introduces the villain of this book.

Even though my fighting scenes kinda suck, this new villain is supposed to be a badass. I’ll probably go back and rewrite the scene many times in frustration just to get it across well.

The villain frustrates Quinn and Varzo with how easily she outmaneuvers them before escaping. This is basically to let the audience know what Quinn is going to have to become in order to stop this woman. She will basically have to become a badass too, the only challenge is realistically showing how she got there and also making her look good once she gets there.

Most of my villains are snarky and arrogant (Dr. Zorgone, Kimaria, Evrard, Pirayo) but this new villain is my attempt to go a different direction. When she insults Quinn, it’s not to hurt her but simply because she believes what she’s saying is the truth: Quinn really is pathetic, etc. And somehow, that hurts more than an actual insult.

General Phorott, the main villain across the entire series, is very similar in this regard. Because I’m kinda tired of writing snarky villains who joke all the time, I decided to make Phorott a calm, cool narcissist.

Chapter 7 also builds Quinn and Varzo up as a duo. Varzo is an amphibious mermaid person but has a crap temper, while Quinn comes from fire-lizard-people and is usually calm and serene. They are essentially polar opposites in temperament, and that works for them.

I’m starting to wonder if making Quinn reckless was right for a calm character. Usually a character with a temper would be reckless. I like to think Quinn is reckless when others are in danger, such as in The Harvest when Thalcu is dying and needs water.