In Defence of Villainous Protagonists

writingAs always, WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by the lovely Kathi S. Other WIPpeteers can be found here.

So last week there was a little ill will directed at Kara, the MC in my WIP Queen of Hearts. Which, given the circumstances and context is perhaps understandable so today’s offering is a more sympathetic look at Kara to prove to those doubters out there that she is not all bad. 😛 This excerpt needs serious editing at some stage but shows that at least initially, her goal was selfless. A conversation between Kara and her father Piren. I may have cheated a bit because I forgot to find a passage that corresponds with the date. Oops.

‘I propose a peace treaty with Bashraan.’

‘What?’ Piren roared.

‘Please, Father, listen,’ Kara begged him, ‘they are the only one of our neighbours who has not been conquered by the Haelean Empire. We are in desperate need of allies. I feel sure we are next in the Empire’s eastern expansion. We cannot stop them alone but with allies at our side, we may stand a better chance of victory.’

‘We have been at war with Bashraan for six hundred years.’

‘Then perhaps it is time that we stopped. No more border raids and bands of “outlaws” terrorizing our people and theirs. Instead, we could be at peace with each other and, united, prevent the Haelean expansion a little longer.’

‘Bashraan would never agree.’

‘We were once both of the same people.’

‘That was long ago.’

‘Blood is blood, Father.’

‘Very well. But you will lead this mission. If you succeed, then well and good, you may continue as before but if you fail to secure this treaty you will be banished to Kandaren Castle and there you will stay until the day you die.’

‘Yes, Father.’

The king went to leave but paused a moment, as if mulling on something, ‘When did you learn the ways of politics?’

‘When I should have been learning embroidery.’

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14 thoughts on “In Defence of Villainous Protagonists

  1. kathils says:

    Love the last line. Now, however, I’ve gone from wanting to sucker punch Kara to wanting to drop kick her father. I suppose one shouldn’t threaten a king like that but, man, either do your job or be banished? Nice. That will help explain Kara somewhat.

    • Ink and Papyrus says:

      Hehe yes. Despite her best efforts, Kara is more like her father than she realises. That said, her father has his reasons for his behaviour (of varying legitimacy) and it must also be observed that you have rather frequent violent tendencies. I’ll remember not to get on your bad side. 😛

  2. Eden says:

    I can’t say that I ever saw Kara as “villainous”; given the small size (and often random) location of WIPpets, her actions couldn’t be judged on a grand scale imho. And every character, every person, has those moments when they cannot take any. more. We (as readers and viewers) cheer when the “good” guy takes out the “bad” guy, but what about the bad guy’s wife, his mother, his kids? The boy down the street he’s been acting as a big brother to?

    Having a so called “good” character who does bad things and a so-called bad character who does good things is realistic. And cool…

    Though, I do have to wonder why her father would banish her? For her own protection? To teach her a lesson? It seems (at least in this excerpt) abrupt and petty. I’m sure that you’ve considered why already, but it just struckme as very off the cuff “ooh, let me be EEEEVIL”.

    • Ink and Papyrus says:

      Thanks for the feedback. The whole ‘villainous’ thing was in response to a few comments on last weeks WIPpet which was taken out of context at a particularly vulnerable time for Kara. And as for her father’s reactions, he has his reasons but he is also a tad spiteful although I will admit the ‘to the end of your days’ thing may be overdoing it a bit. 🙂

  3. Krista Walsh says:

    Haha I need to echo everyone else — the last line is pure gold!!! I love the back and forth of dialogue in this. It flows really well. I appreciate her stubbornness for standing up for what she believes in.

  4. ReGi McClain says:

    LOL! That last line must be protected at all costs. Even if during edits you decide to remove the whole scene, you must find a place for that line. 🙂

    Interesting relationship. It seems kingy here may be just the slightest bit proud of his daughter for her creative thinking, but he’s still willing to banish her if she fails. And how nice of him to let her handle the mission herself. No “but you’re a girl” or “you’re much too young.” Just the same treatment he might give a less-than-favorite son. I like it. 🙂

    • Ink and Papyrus says:

      Hmm, an interesting perspective. And I think the king’s reaction is not so much ‘I trust you to handle it’ (though perhaps that is his subconscious thought) as ‘you got us into this mess, you can get us out’. And the final line is definitely staying. 😀

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