Incorporating Hidden Meanings
When I started writing Diary of a Villain, I really wanted to incorporate as many hidden meaning and symbols as I could. Hidden messages can be found everywhere and unfortunately most of us don’t even realize it. For instance, many television shows and films use this by mirroring past scenes to connect them and reflect the present, use specific clothing choices, and even sew in real-world ties to communicate deeper meanings.
For me, I started with names, and they were an easy way to execute this strategy. For example, Solis means ‘the sun’ in Greek. However, I wanted to do more than just search the internet for baby names and their meanings. So, I tapped into the psychology of color for many of the characters’ outfits, settings, and, my personal favorite symbol, the flowers. Flowers are a forgotten form of communication that I was excited to utilize. They are more than the simple cliché of passionate red roses to demonstrate love. Yes, roses can communicate romance; however, depending on color, they can also communicate friendship, loyalty, purity, etc. My first use of this in the book is a bouquet of pink and white gardenias. Gardenias actually mean ‘secret love.’ Pink in fact, also means love, but the white symbolizes that the love is pure.
Another tool I used were the dream entries. Throughout the story, Vincent often recounts his dreams and within them lies hidden meanings. For instance, there are many dreams in which certain people fade away before he wakes up. This symbolizes his feeling of not being in control and losing hope. In another dream, he tries again and again to yell what he’s thinking but he is unable to, symbolizing how powerless he feels in the real world.
I also decided to include this strategy in the cover design, requesting a black background with rain pouring down and specific title colors.
As a highly perceptive person, little details are very important to me when it comes to things like this, looking for them in everything. I hope every reader enjoys the hunt and the read!
A Twisted Tale
When it comes to plot twists, we all think the same things- the side kick dies (or nearly does), the best friend gets the girl, and the bad guy is actually a hurt and misunderstood puppy dog. These are clichés known and loved by us all. Otherwise they wouldn’t be so common. When I began writing Diary of a Villain, I didn’t have a plan. So, when a plot twist presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity to take the story in a different direction. There are two main plot twists in this story, and I can say that neither of them was easy to write.
Of course, I’m not going to go into detail; however, I will say that I enjoyed word-play a great deal. Perception is a powerful thing and the reader must be able to look past the proverbial masks of the main characters and search for the deeper truth that lies behind. A villain is a villain, heroes don’t always win, and a reader only knows as much as the author tells them.
All is Not Fair in Love and War
As Shakespeare once said, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” (A Midsummer’s Night Dream) And if we’re being honest, we readers tend to prefer it that way. After all, there can be no story without conflict and fictional relationships are no exception. We readers crave stories filled obstacles, trails, and people so in love that they would do anything to overcome them and be with the one they love. I’ll admit it, I’m a push over when it comes to stories like this.
However, I believe that, other than sickness, the conflicts readers love more anything else are not family feuds, fairy tales, or other Cinderella-type stories. The truth is we love when the conflict is between the main characters themselves. Whether one person is in love with the other, or neither one can stand even the thought of each other, these are the conflicts we love most. It’s that push and pull relationship that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat with that constant question of ‘will they or won’t they end up together’ that keeps them turning page after page.
When I decided to write Dairy of a Villain, this was the type of relationship that I saw for the two main characters. Obviously, a villain is not going to have an easy-going love life and this story is no exception. There is that constant reminder to Solis that he can never tell her (Raine) how he feels because he knows she’ll never see him as anything other than a villain and someone to hate. So, there’s not only a constant outer struggle between the two, but there’s also that inner struggle of trying to get over it, trying to get her out of his mind, and not going mad in the process. Which I believe is something that most readers can relate to.
So, is all fair in love and war? I guess that depends on who you ask.