A character starts somewhere, a look, an expression, a feeling, a deed – something happens that grabs a writer’s attention and a character starts to form, but some characters are born out of necessity – Va’el, for instance, was forced to appear at age ten, when I had planned him to be at least in his late teens, which rather makes him unique – While most of my characters have formed out of a perceived attitude in the face of some event, and evolve, Va’el already had presence, his circumstances were already set and inescapable.
I write posts about Va’el because he rather caught me by surprise. Forced to put in this early appearance at age ten, he started off as an inconvenience, but soon managed to show me that I have a wonderful opportunity here to step-by-step evolve a villain from childhood. He had further thrown a few spanners in the works by making me see a vulnerable side to his nature that he himself will refuse to see. So, what he has given me is a far deeper character than I would have had, and for that, of course, I appreciate him.
But how did he begin, this villain? At eighteen or so, he has his sights set on power, a regular foe to battle against. At ten, he is hardly opposition. At the same time, he couldn’t just pop up as something fresh and evolve the way my characters normally do. He was already defined by the circumstances of his birth and the meagre power he has been given.