Monday, 22 September 2014

Defining villainous names

Following on from my guest post on Bella Settarra’s blog last week about ‘Defining Erotic Romance’ I had some interesting feedback including one writer who said she used her ex-husband as a villain in one of her stories and thoroughly enjoyed whipping his butt (in the story!).

And another who said that using bad people we know as our villains was a great way to work off angst.

That made me wonder how many other authors have used the names (or even the characters) of people they hate/dislike/who have made their lives a misery for their villains.

I then found this link to the 50 greatest villains in literature:

Looking down the list I see Cruella de Vil is quite high however, it took me years to realize this actually reads ‘cruel devil’!

However, did J K Rowling know someone called ‘Voldemort’? Where did the inventor of Hannibal Lecter come up with that name? Did a ‘Bill Sykes’ do bad things to Dickens?

Some villain names have become so well-known that we use them as descriptive terms like a Svengali meaning ‘someone who manipulates’, Machiavellian meaning ‘someone who schemes maliciously’, Jekyll or Frankenstein – both of whom were doctors who created monsters, to be a Don Juan is to be ‘a womaniser’.

How fabulous it would be to have a villain of mine used in this fashion…. Maybe I need to give more thought to my villains!


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