I’d like to cordially invite you to join me at The Big Thrill–a website dedicated to thriller writers. This week (July 10-16th 2017) we will be discussing the question: “Why is the combination of villains and beauty so alluring?”
You can engage in the conversation! Just reply to the comments of all the authors. I’ll be there, along with Meg Gardiner, Peter James, Holly Seddon, Alec Cizak, Catherine Finger, Billy Lyons, Ellen Kirschman and Meredith Anthony.
That’s a lot of talent!
For the entire week we’ll be watching the comment section in order to interact with everyone. It’ll be fun. I hope you join us!
My first post to the discussion goes as such:
The combination of villains and beauty isn’t common, but it represents the seduction and fall of the hero, a fairly standard character arch that’s been around since the tale of Adam and Eve. Beautiful things (be it objects or people) lure otherwise good characters away from the light by promising something impossible. Handsome men, gorgeous woman, fragrant flowers—they cause the hero to falter, or at least tempt them to do so.
I believe this resonates with the majority of people because of the relatability. It’s understandable to be attracted to beauty. It’s a common mindset that pretty = good and it’s compelling to watch someone struggle with the reality of the situation: sometimes the façade of beauty can be a trap. It adds psychological tension to the situation when the hero struggles with their desires.
Additionally, if the villain has an alluring presence, it adds another advantage to their arsenal—an advantage the hero may not have. Villains are menacing when their advantages outweigh the hero’s, and each piece of the puzzle builds them into a complex adversary. When the hero wins (if they win) it makes the victory all that much sweeter.