A Man Out to Save the World

This post is related to my last one about reading as a discipline. As a student working for a college graduation I have been reading many works in the way of history, science, and so on. It was when I was thinking back on my western civilization studies that I realized how much they had influenced my writing. My characters, mainly the villains, have undergone many changes since those studies. For instance:
One of the major villains in my book is named Archaies. His name is rarely ever mentioned except for in the prologue, but other than that you never really hear of him again. One can guess as to whom the character might be, but he never really seems to make an appearance.
I had always wanted my villains to carry more personality than the usual out to rule the world mentality. I wanted to know how they thought, and what their beliefs were. In other words why were they out to rule the world and everyone in it.
When it came to Archaies however, I never had the answers to these questions. That is until I went through western civilization. Reading about the affairs of the world throughout history I learned of the many kings and dictators. I could see the many ideologies of the times concerning the absolute rule of the monarchs as opposed to rule of the people. The major thing I learned is that everyone has their ideas about the world, and they all have their solutions to fix it. It is from their worldview that they make their decisions.
It was then that I realized Archaies's philosophy. I knew what it was he was doing, and why he was doing it. He was no longer a lunatic that was out to rule the world but he was out to save it in his own twisted way. He no longer killed for the heck of it, but only when it seemed necessary for him.
Archaies is the type that refuses to fight unless presented no other option. At one time he could have been considered a gentlemen as he made sure to treat people with utmost politeness. However through his experiences of life, war, and politics he came to see the horror people have to offer. He recognized the problems of society and came to the conclusion that brutish people can only be ruled by an absolute ruler. However a ruler can only rule absolutely when he has absolute power. It was then that he set out to find this power.        


Yeah I only recently started figuring out what was up with my villain. He always just seemed like a crazy person wanting to rule the world, but it never felt right.

Now I'm starting to understand him. :-)


It's interesting you say that because I've noticed the same about myself and my studies as well. I usually feel as if I don't learn anything I'm reading, but then I write, I see it lying under the words I write.

Archaies sounds like a villain I have in mind as well. I have his personality down, but it was the angle I was trying to get right for the story. One which I have rewritten several times.


My characters often take a while to get to know as well. I try to force a personality on them and it never works.


Hi from the Campaign! I've tried really hard to make my villain more well-rounded, but I haven't done such a great job, I don't think. He's a really selfish guy, and seems quite one-dimensional. Unfortunately, that is how selfish people seem to me, as well, so I'm kind of stuck! Very much looking forward to getting to know you and your writing better through the Campaign!


I like your observation Lara, but then I also wonder how many of the really rounded villains are just as selfish as any other villain.


Jacob, some of the best advice I have heard about becoming a better writer is to read and study. It is interesting to see how that works, especially when your not even aware of it when its happening.


I gave you a shout-out on my blog today! :)


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