You’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve had a difficult time a) finding the inertia and b) finding the time to write blog posts these past few months. I think when I say that the last few months have been hard most of you will probably understand exactly what I mean. I was browsing through past posts and tags of mine and rediscovered some of the book tags I’d written. I remembered how fun they were and how I’d used them when a week had been hard and I hadn’t had the time or energy to write a review or reflect. They gave me direction then. They made me laugh.
This seems a great time to resurrect the book tag. And I think after a fair bit of searching I’ve found one I like a lot.
(Note: If anyone has any book tags they’ve done or ones that they’ve enjoyed reading in the past, particularly ones like this where books are chosen at random and different things in their pages are used to create a story of sorts, please do post a link in the comments section. I’d love some more to do.)
SJ Bouquet of A Tree Grows in Bookland and a friend Dash originated this tag, which is called Make Me Your Villain.
I’ve edited the rules a bit, as I always seem to do. I don’t like choosing books at random, so using my own rule I’ve chosen the last books I’ve read—in this case the last 7 (it would be 6, but I couldn’t decide whether or not to use two books from the same series, so I decided to put both in and let fate decide, but also to put in another book so fate could decide). I put the names on bits of paper and drew the names.
For this tag, you will also need some music playing device.
Villain name: Every good villain needs a name that inspires awe and fear. Pick one random book. Look at the front and back cover, and the inside flaps. Pick the first adjective you see. Then, look at your bookshelf and pick the first noun you see from all the covers. Put the adjective and noun together. That’s your name.
Again, I don’t like chance and don’t trust my eyes to be objective. And I frankly misread this direction at first. First adjective on the page it is. I did glance up at my bookcase for a noun however.
Magnus Chase, Book One: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, page 155.
“Blitz, I said sure.”
The dwarf blinked. “But I had this whole speech prepared.”
“No need. I trust you.”
The strange thing? I was telling the truth.
When I glanced up at the shelf, I saw first the title The House of Hades, The Heroes of Olympus, Book Four also by Rick Riordan.
So… Strange House is my name.
Your Weapon or Power: This is important. This is how you’ll vanquish your enemies and assert your dominance and protect your authority. Pick a random book. Turn to page 66. Choose the 6th noun on the page. This can result in mundane objects such as “CD” or “sock” or “thing”. Regardless of how stupid it is, that’s your weapon. You can get creative with that thing though! For example- “Sock” is another word for punching. You have the power of packing a great punch now. You’re very strong. You’ve the power of SOCK!
This is fated to be a Riordan filled tag then. The sixth noun on page 66 of Riordan’s Demigods and Magicians is… either “Annabeth” if I include proper nouns or “people” if I do not. I think I’m giving myself the power or weapon of people. How am I interpreting that? I have no super power. I am an ordinary human. And I use human minions. The ordinary villains, the ones you could meet in an everyday situation, those are sometimes the most frightening.
Weakness: Pick a random book, flip through the pages, and pick the first gerund (word ending in -ing) that you see. This is your weakness. Watch out… this is how The Hero will squash you.
The first gerund on page 81 of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is… There are no gerunds on page 81. Gerunds are –ing words that function as nouns. I have a present participle, an –ing word functioning as an adjective or adverb.
“Well, do you think this is Southend?”
“So do I.”
“Therefore we must be mad.”
“Nice day for it.”
“Yes,” said a passing maniac.
Passing… We’ll revisit this when I learn more about the story.
Villain Theme Song: Go to your iPod. Hit shuffle. Whichever song pops up first (no skipping!), this is your theme song. This is the prelude to your grand entrance.
Oh I love this. Right now I am listening to Something Corporate’s “If You C Jordan.” (Please beware if you look this song up in polite company.)
Evil Henchman: Grab a random book. Turn to page 66. Pick the first name you see. This is the person who always has your back and follows up your threats with cheesy one liners.
The first name on page 66 of Leonie Swann’s Three Bags Full is Melmoth, Sir Ritchfield’s twin brother who “left the flock” as a lamb and is something of a legend and boogey-sheep among the flock.
He’s known for wise, confusing statements and advice… not cheesy one-liners, but maybe all my human foes hear are bleats, which might seem cheesy, I suppose. But the idea of Melmoth as a henchman—henchsheep…. I like it. An ordinary human villain who uses other people as her weapons is also followed by a wandering sheep who left his flock and has gained wisdom from walking the world but now puzzles the sheep that he left. He’ll be my right hand sheep, the one always by my side.
(Point of interest: Melmoth is sheep 13 on that cover, the lower of the two nearly identical horned rams.)
Love interest: Hey. Sometimes the bad guy gets the girl. He may have to manipulate her or kidnap her into fulfilling the love interest role, but it’s not unheard of. Evil people can find love too! Pick a random book, flip through the pages. The first name you find is your love interest.
The first name on page 73 of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle, Book One: The Raven Boys is Gansey. Of course it is.
The Hero: and finally, your Arch Nemesis! Get yourself a random book, flip to a random page, and pick the first name you see! NOW FIGHT!
Fate decides I cannot use two books from the same series. The first name on page 63 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (and it’s filled with names since each line starts with a speaker) is Albus. Albus Severus Potter.
All right… so: I, Strange House, am an everyday sort of villain, and I have a squad of other everyday sort of people who are my weapons and strength. My theme song is Something Corporate’s “If You C Jordan.” Some punk in high school named Jordan left me very bitter, and perhaps that’s why I’m so cruel and my heart’s so twisted now. I love Richard Gansey III. He’s easy to love. Not surprising. He can be the one who makes this a fantasy novel, the one to bring the magic and believe in it. My right-hand ram is Melmoth, the wanderer who disappeared, who left the flock, who broke the rules. He will bleat fiercely at my enemies. He will say very wise, poetic things, but no one will understand. One day Albus Severus Potter will defeat me by passing. Maybe he’s on his way to defeat someone else, and I’m his collateral damage. Yeah… I’m kind of liking this.
Someone draw Melmoth and I? Maybe with Gansey? Or me being pushed down by Albus on his way to somewhere else with Melmoth trying to catch me, looking scared?
SJ Bouquet, Dash, that was really fun.
*It has just been pointed out to me that I… am not named Strange House. I am Whole House, which I like a lot better actually.