Gayle Lynds on The Villain!

Last week Monte and I had the pleasure of attending the Screenwriters Association of Santa Barbara meeting at Borders in Goleta, where bestselling author Gayle Lynds spoke.

Most interesting were Gayle’s thoughts on the Villain! Here’s what she had to say:

-Equally important to the hero is the villain. Your hero must have a worthy opponent. It creates marvelous friction. Sparks!

-Don’t make fun of your villain. It makes him less credible. If the author doesn’t believe in him, why should the reader?

-The villain perceives himself as an admirable person; he deserves what he’s after.

-Often at the beginning of the book, the villain is active and the hero is reacting.

-Give the villain at least one good characteristic. Ex. Adolf Hitler is the most hated person in history. He’s a monster—an aberration! The reader cannot relate to monsters. But when you learn that Hitler loved animals, suddenly he is humanized. You have something in common with him, and that becomes more interesting.

Gayle promised me she would blog about having met her late husband, author Dennis Lynds, at the conference. Please comment and convince Gayle to write a blog!

Gayle’s latest book, The Book of Spies, is out now. More about her at: