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30 Days of Writing: Enemies

18. Favorite antagonist and why!

I had thought at first that this would be a hard call, but actually it didn't take much thought to come up with an answer: Kinoc. Partly because I haven't written about many of the other canonical antagonists in my fiction -- Seymour makes a couple of appearances, as does Shuyin, and I wrote a short about Dr. Cid once, and I supposed Cid Raines counts as an antagonist, but in the latter cases, the stories were from the antagonist's point of view, so I wasn't really writing them as antagonists, if you see what I mean. But I have written Kinoc both as the hero of his own story and as the villain of Auron's, and I am fascinated every time.

Kinoc is a character who has always interested me. His first appearance in the game instantly raises questions about his past, about Auron's past, about the workings of Yevon. I wondered about him and Auron, especially: what kind of history lays between them, that Auron seems so contemptuous, to the point that he states flat-out that Kinoc would be willing to execute a friend... and yet he can still be moved to avenge Kinoc's death? As much as anything, it was my need to work out the answer to this puzzle that drove me to write A Guardian's Legacy.

I suppose what I like about Kinoc is that, in some senses, he's just so ordinary. Evil as middle management. He has no super powers, no secret headquarters staffed by minions, no mad schemes to destroy the world. All he has is ambition and the will do to what it takes to satisfy it, regardless of whom he might step on in the process. I find it very easy to, if not sympathize with him, at least to get a feel for where he's coming from, to write through his eyes, much more so than, say, a Seymour. kunstarniki once speculated that I might not be able to write a "thorough-going villain", and I agree, beyond a certain point. After all, most villains see themselves as the hero of their own stories; who, in the real world, wakes up and says "I think I'm going to do some evil today"? They have their ideals and their reasons, too. I may not agree with or sympathize with them, but especially when writing fiction I have to at least have some understanding of them.

30 Days of Writing: Complete list of questions

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