Monday, July 8, 2013

Nothing Better to Do

My dog, Rascal, gets easily bored. She also craves attention. On nice weather days she's content to sun herself in our backyard.  However, on the not so nice days, especially the rainy ones, she's got nothing better to do than to get into devilment.

I watch her casing the house, searching for targets. Her favorite is paper. At times, I'll purposely leave unneeded papers on the floor under my desk to prevent her from finding  more important ones and destroying them. Okay, I'm not the neatest person in the world, but I do try. Still, she's adept at foraging into odd spots and finding bounty.

Today, she discovered a gauze bandage complete with wrapper, which had apparently fallen under the dining room table, or perhaps onto one of the chairs. I didn't notice it beforehand, but her x-rays vision did!

Don't feel sorry for her. She's got plenty of toys to play with, but they sit neglected. To her, something new is always better. Not only is it fun to chew, but it also gains my attention.

This time I was able to offer her one of her marrow bones, plus a few stuffed animals in exchange for the papers, and she actually played with them  for a few minutes. Right now, she's decided to sleep and give me some peace. I'm not sure how long that will last.

What does Rascal have to do with mysteries? Well, to paint a well-rounded villain, the author should in some way hint at or present a reason why that person chose the wrong path. A few that fit with Rascal's scenario might also apply to your villain. Perhaps that person, with nothing compelling enough to hold interest, such as a hobby, a job, or a cause, sought to relieve boredom by going down the wrong path. Or, perhaps, that person as a child was ignored by parents or guardians. Or, later, for some reason that person went unnoticed by peers. Performing an illegal act, even going so far as to murder one or more people, may seem the perfect solution for gaining attention. The media only feeds the frenzy, by highlighting abnormal behavior, almost to the point of rewarding the perpetrator.

Of course, there are tons of other motives for villains to commit crimes. Maybe you'd like to name one and offer a book or real life example.

Morgan Mandel writes when she gets bored and at other
times. Find excerpts from her mysteries and romances


Twitter: @MorganMandel


Susan said...

I think we own the same dog, because everything you said about Rascal (who is such a cutie, by the way) also applies to my Mindy Moo the Monkey Dog. Whatever would we do without them?

Morgan Mandel said...

I sure would like to see a photo of your monkey dog, Susan!

Morgan Mandel

Heather Haven said...

One of my two cats is a Siamese. The breed is considered the 'monkey' of the feline world and it is too true. Yulie (Yul Bryner, King of Siam) is into devilment every moment of every day. And he loves to rip up paper, any paper. Because he's a cat, and can leap buildings with a single bound, there is no safe place to keep them, other than a drawer.

Morgan Mandel said...

The DH is allergic to cats, which is a shame, because they are cute. However, I have noticed they are capable of getting to high places where Rascal could never go.

Morgan Mandel

Kathleen Kaska said...

Maybe the bad guy or gal went down the wrong path because they never had a dog to guide them. My 35-lb. dog used to sit in my lap when i wrote. He was such an inspiration. The only problem was I had to type with one hand. I had to hold him with the other hand to keep him from falling when he fell asleep. I miss him.

Morgan Mandel said...

Rascal can't fit in my lap, but she does like to lay across my feet when I'm typing, so it's harder for me to reach for the keyboard.

Morgan Mandel

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Love your Rascal.