The Merciless King of Moore High's Merciless King himself. THIS song is his vibe, though he wouldn't ever listen to it, he'd be more into arty rap stuff. Like maybe Jpegmafia? Honestly if I know the group it's probably not cool enough for him to listen to. But this is a good sample of his vibe:
I don't know why but my villains always come first and clearest when I'm drafting. Maybe because I'm anxious, so I track threatening/intimidating behavior best in real life and so I can picture my villains easily. Erik, for example, came fully formed with Teen Killers Club; he was initially the big bad. I read reviews sometimes complaining about obligatory a YA love triangle is. Ironically, the love triangle in TKC was organic and unplanned. I TRIED to do a sweet friends-to-lovers story, Erik wouldn't let me.
My first plotting of the first book, Signal was supposed to kill Erik in the Star Barn to save Javier, Signal and Javier were my OTP. I always plot my books out chapter by chapter, but with Teen Killers Erik kept going offscript. My way into writing is, plot it up, then imagine it while transcribing the daydream. I'm a visual thinker so essentially I sit somewhere and watch a movie in my head. Maybe this is technically a disorder, but I don't want a cure.
If I set it up right, if I really have a true kernel for the characters--someone I know well enough to intuit their response even when it runs counter to my own-- the characters will take control of the scene. Then it flows, I'm just basically a nature documentarian chasing after them with a camera. With TKC, Erik was a bad actor. He kept making fun of his dialogue and the other characters and refusing to act as directed until I wrote out his whole back story. It ended up being the spine of the series. Some of his jabs made it into the book, for instance when he tells Signal her and Javier's relationship bores him to tears. A lot of his dialogue comes from the character making the case that he is NOT trying to kill Signal-- as I had plotted-- that ACTUALLY he needs her more than anyone else. (A lot of all that underwriting made it over into Naramauke)
King Max has never had any conflict with me, in the sense he does not interact with me at all. Erik was chatty and self-reflexive and loves to talk psychology. King Max does not give a shit, he just does what he wants, and the why is my problem. He mows through scenes he's not cast in and leaves early from discussions he should finish, he bursts into tears or punches someone in the gut. After my experience with Erik I'm trying to just follow the flow. And following him around provided me with my all-time favorite scene I've ever written in MKMH out of no where, so I owe him for the Trial by Combat for sure.
On the other hand, at the end of the book, I still have no idea what this dude is up to?? I look at my sequel outline and think, well...we'll see what he does!