You know, creating despicable villains really is too much fun. Ryan Knight from The Reunion is a great example. He certainly got my editor’s, and my proofreader’s, dander up.
Ryan only appears in the flashback chapters, but he makes an impact. Ryan is a college student about to graduate and embark on his career as an architect. He and the young Gillian have been dating for the past couple of years, but their relationship has become strained. Ryan is putting in a lot of overtime in the architecture building. He says he’s working late on class projects. Gillian, however, has her doubts.
A few days after his graduation, Ryan asks Gillian to stop by his apartment. He has news he wants to share with her. Gillian believes he’s going to propose to her, but Ryan’s idea of a proposal is the last thing she expectes.
Ryan was based on several real life men I’ve known; my ex-husband, a moody ex-boyfriend, and a good friend’s ex-husband. With a cocktail like that, you know you’ll have a real monster on your hands.
My editor commented that Ryan was, “a bit mental.” I also worried that my proofreader would quit on me. Ryan had certainly made her angry. So much so that I had to keep reassuring her that he only appeared in the flashback chapters. He would make his exit in chapter six. After that, his name would rarely be mentioned. Thankfully, she stayed on board.
I’ll conclude by saying that in fiction, conflict creates the drama, and Ryan certainly knows how to create some conflict.