Thursday, June 6, 2013

Author Spotlight: Donna K. Weaver

Please welcome Donna K. Weaver, author of A Change of Plans!

At the LDStorymakers conference, I attended a class on writing fantasy by Julie Wright - she’s a FUN teacher, and I’ve got a ton of notes.
Julie said something profound that really struck me. It applies to any kind of writing and deals with writing good villains.
The difference between the villain and the hero is that the villain didn't get over his/her trials.
That statement begs for the writer to investigate just what it is the villain didn’t get over which, in turn, has to make the antagonist a deeper, richer character. No hero is perfect. No villain is perfectly evil.
Look at Severus Snape. What a deep and conflicted character. After Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, someone commented to Rowling that Snape turned out to be “good” after all. Rowling’s response? “Do you think Snape was good?”
Doesn’t that perfectly demonstrate the power that comes from creating deep and intriguing characters?
Thank you Donna!


  1. I thought Snape was good...
    Congratulations, Donna!

    1. No, when a reader asked Jo Rowling, "So Snape was good?", Rowling looked at the reader and asked, "Do you think Snape was good?"

      Snape was a selfish, mean-spirited man who fixated on another man's wife. Who was willing (in the books) to let Voldemort kill both her husband and son as long as she lived. Anyone who could treat children the way Snape did is not a good person.

      Brave, yes. Good, no.

  2. Love this thought! I think it's very profound and it inspires me to write an even better villain next time. Thanks, Donna!

    1. Julie did such a great job with that class!

  3. Nice post, Donna. I would also add that, in addition to figuring out what makes them tick, it's often important to shade them, give them more nuance, leave some doubt. Part of what made Snape so compelling through the first six books was that constant, "Is he, or isn't he?" question.

    And not to derail the thread, I agree with you in your answer to Alex. As much as you could sympathize with the man (unrequited love! how terrible!) following the big reveal, what he did, and what he allowed to happen, were awful.

  4. Congratulations Donna. I love a well-written villain-- there is indeed a lot of thought to the depth of a love-to-hate character.