I wrote a scene twice last month, which isn’t anything new. Sometimes I write a scene ten times until I get it right. The first time I wrote the scene in the POV of one of my perpetrators, inappropriately, since on page 240 I hadn't yet presented her POV. So, I rewrote it again from another villain’s POV. Although I had included this character in many scenes, I realized that he too was a new POV, and I couldn’t use that scene even if it would have been a good read. But— in writing through their POVs—I learned a lot about evil and my villains. They’re despicable and fun to write.
My villains just don’t give a damn. They like being bad. They like messing with moral people. They do what they want, when they want, and they wouldn’t think of considering another’s point of view or feelings. These are truly ruthless and selfish people. Villains like to use people. When they meet other villains who use them, it’s just a matter of time which one destroys the other. At a recent local SinC meeting, a DEA agent spoke confirming this notion. He said when the headlines announce violence in the Mexican drug wars that the drug suppliers were killing each other off.
Often that hurt shapes your main character’s emotional and mental framework. People react differently to adversity. Adversity makes them stronger or weaker. My heroes are so noble. They struggle—they try—they go beyond themselves, challenging their fears, changing and growing stronger. There is a power struggle between the main character and the villain. It is in the action and reaction between villain and protagonist, between evil and good where tension lies. When the main character acts, instead of reacts, forcing the villain to react can be a novel’s pivotal moment.
In writing from my villains POV, I’ve come to understand better the underlying dynamic of tension from which I can write my main character’s POV. Understanding the source of the tension in my novel, I hope, will sharpen my edge. Try it sometime. It's fun and a great teacher.