Wickedness on WIP Wednesdays

9ba02bf02563af86012883795a80af1cIn our fictional worlds, virtue triumphs—it is probably just as well, therefore, that the villains don’t know they’re fictional, so they lay their mischievous, selfish, or downright wicked plans, sure that they will win the day.

Today’s work-in-progress Wednesday is dedicated to the ways they act. I’m looking for an excerpt—I say eight to ten lines, but whatever you need to give us a feeling for what’s going on—that shows your villain (male or female, an irritation or an evil danger) doing something that displays their real character.

My current work-in-progress is the story of David Wakefield, best friend of Rede, the hero of Farewell to Kindness. David and his heroine are private detectives back when the name for such people was thief taker, and Embracing Prudence (set earlier in the same year as Farewell to Kindness) includes one of the villains who so complicated life for Rede and Anne.

Here is the Earl of Selby. He has just blackmailed the courtesan into giving him a night in her bed.

“Tiv won’t be happy,” the Earl gloated.

“You will be, my Lord. I guarantee it,” Miss Diamond replied, her voice a husky purr.

The Earl caught up his hat and walking stick, and in one fluid movement, backed the courtesan against the wall, trapping her with his stick held across her neck.

“I’ll collect on that guarantee,” he said, his own purr sounding of threat rather than promise.

Miss Diamond did not react, standing impassively within the cage he’d formed of his body. He leaned the last few inches and slowly, deliberately, licked the side of her face, from her jaw up to her eyebrow, then grimaced.

In another supple twist, he was off her and heading for the door.

“Don’t wear powder tomorrow night,” he instructed, as he left.

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5 thoughts on “Wickedness on WIP Wednesdays

  1. I saw your tweet and came over to read your post. Very good! Villain are such fun. I’m posting a short piece from my historical romance, “To Save a Lady” set in New Orleans during the War of 1812. From Elise’s POV. She is the French heroine who is involved in wartime intrigue.

    Hinges creaked as one of Beauvais’s footmen pushed open the heavy study doors for his master. Beauvais strode into the room, floorboards moaning beneath his steps. As always, he was dressed in quiet black with no flourishes. Every time he had visited Madame and her husband at Maison Laurelle, he had worn sedate clothes. Nothing that would attract undue attention.

    His thick gray-streaked hair and porcelain skin made him look older than he was. He carried what appeared to be a fancy walking stick. The gold handle, carved to resemble a lion’s head, fit perfectly atop a polished ebony case, which housed a long, tapered blade.

    Beauvais was never without his sword cane or a plan. He liked his machinations.

    She squirmed nervously in his presence like a worm on a hook. He laid his sword cane on his desk. “I have heard what happened last night. You were almost caught by a British spy.”

    She dared glance up. “Monsieur, I am truly sorry. It was most unfortunate, but their spy found out nothing and the American captain did meet Lafitte.”

    • Welcome, Patricia. I’m glad you came. And I want to know more! I can see Beauvais in my mind’s eye, in his quiet black with his fancy sword stick.

    • One of my favourite bits in Farewell to Kindness is where Selby has lost his temper and killed his valet. Immediately after, a couple of his friends arrive. The piece is from the point of view of his lover, the villainess, and Nat, the other character, is her toy boy.

      She could the effort he made to slide on the urbane gentleman that he portrayed so well. The nasty mess someone had made of his nose made the effort less successful than usual.

      “Good day, my lady,” he said. “Thank you for coming.”

      Nat helped her down, and Simon waved them both inside. She went to enter the parlour, but he spoke from behind her. “The kitchen might be better, perhaps.”

      It would. She had seen the dead body in the parlour.

      Simon tossed the knife on top of the body and followed them into the kitchen.

      “I say, Sel,” Nat said, sounding nervous, “what happened to Durney?”

      “He failed me,” Simon explained, “so I dispensed with his services.”

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