Inside the Mind of the Antagonist
I cannot think of anybody who has ever read my work, or any posts pertaining to it, that would honestly think that I would write a simple villain. Some magical dark-overlord type who strikes fear into the hearts of his / her enemies, perhaps? Indeed, there are a few of those who pop up in the story line from time but I find them hard to empathise with. I actually prefer characters from whom I can derive inspiration from through their personas as people.
Enter Eahlred Branderson of Hawk’s Rest. He is a perpetrator of vile acts of violence upon civilians and one to be written off (quite accurately) as a ruthless and malevolent individual. Bear in mind that he comes from a setting based loosely on our dark ages and he entered his profession at what we would deem to be a young age (15), but is actually a reasonable age in which one can enter a trade or profession. He is a man-at-arms in the service of nobility and at the time of the story, he is one who has taken part in conflicts in his homeland before.
Now the trick was to post content which is not too explicit and unfortunately, I don’t think that I can risk it with Eahlred’s internal monologue at this stage of the novella. We are talking about somebody who has been abused since childhood and has known mostly violence throughout his adult life. He has committed acts of sexual violence and murder, and some of his experiences and perspectives will come across as repulsive (I should certainly hope so!) to readers. Although, one must bear in mind that this behaviour would have been quite common amongst dark age peoples at war – such as the Anglo-Saxons or the Norse, or even people at war today in various parts of the world.
Where on Earth did I glean inspiration for such a conflicted, wrathful and violent being, one may ask of me? “Why, Planet Earth!” would be my answer.