I have a Very Evil Writing Idea.
Got through a nasty patch the other day; I’ll spare you the grisly details, just say “stomach bug” and you can take it from there. But once the world stopped spinning quite so much, it got me thinking.
(Yes, that’s a curse of writing.)
I see a lot of injured characters in fiction, but not so many ill ones. On the one hand, that makes perfect sense; who wants to read about the hero being sick, really? And injury is fast to inflict, may or may not be fast to take care of depending on your setting, tech level, healing magic/advanced tech, you name it. So it’s potentially not a “carries through to the end of the book” factor.
On the other hand… bad guys are supposed to be evil. And, one would hope, inventive – otherwise it’s not nearly so interesting to watch the hero beat them bloody.
So. You’re a bad guy, with magic or tech at your disposal, but not necessarily high-powered advantages. You need to beat the Hero, but you don’t have the strength to fling one spell/laser bolt/whatever to kill him.
So… what about an incapacitant?
Seriously. I don’t care how strong the paladin is, how mighty the wizard, how sneaky the thief – if you’re tossing your cookies from here to Sunday, you will have a very hard time avoiding the demon who wants to make mincemeat out of you.
Heck, forget even something that drastic. What about itching powder? Buh-bye spell concentration.
So here’s my question: do you think villains don’t use this in fiction because they’re just not evil enough? Or because authors aren’t?