Hi folks I am new to writing I have put up the first chapter of my book and would love some input from experienced writers. I have a plot in my head for the rest of the story, that will unfold as we go along. but I have one question. at what stage do I need to introduce to the reader the villain? I was originally going to be two thirds of the way through the book before the hero discovers him, but I think the readers will put the book down before then if I don't.
What would you think about doing some chapters earlier in the book from the villain's perspective?
Also, ask yourself if you are starting your novel in the wrong place? If the villain shows up so late is it because you are doing too much background to get to the meat of the story?
Now in some mysteries/thrillers, the bad guy is a shadowy figure at first. You see the results of his action early, so his actions give him a shadowy presence earlier in the novel.
In romance, the protagonist needs to show up within 2 or 3 chapters.
In Literary Fiction, you can do more back story first, but you need to foreshadow the negative force or forces.
I suggest reviewing your novel and asking yourself the hard questions.
Is there too much lead up to meet the bad guy?
Does the reader feel the 'work' of the bad guy earlier in the novel?
Would adding chapters from the villain earlier in the book enhance the story?
Is there is more than 1 force acting on the main character?
What action or conflict is powering the first half of the book if there is no bad guy? What is moving the story forward?
What is motivating the hero?
Remember, your bad guy is almost more important that your main character. You need to make your readers connect with him in some way. They can hate him/her or love him. But the reader needs to connect in some way to this character. The more human he seems, the more impact his 'bad' deeds have on the reader.