Sunday, February 18, 2018

Writing Villains

Writing villains is an art all into its self. What many new writers don't understand is the best way to tell your reader who your villain is through their actions, not proclaiming they are the villain.

Another key to writing the baddie, is most of them don’t believe they are bad. Gone is the day of the mustache twisting antagonist, who want to lay out their plans for the protagonist in hopes the hero won’t defeat them.

Villains should be written believing they aren’t bad. True, they should be in conflict with the hero, but what drives them? It has to be something evil according to the hero, otherwise there’s no conflict, and conflict drives the story.

I try, (not always successfully) to convey to my readers that the bad guys are a lot like us. Mothers and fathers, husbands and wives. That they have a sense of humor and have likes and dislikes. Though some bad guys might be looney, they do have a sense of loyalty.

Like I said, villains tend to bring conflict. That conflict should be something they want, either an ancient artifact, or a cure for a loved one, or they want revenge on our hero, for something done to them in the past. What drives them? Your story should build that in some way.

Heroes also have a streak of evil in them, sadly most heroes today aren't squeaky clean as they were once portrayed. They walk a fine line, and if your reader questions their motives, that's all the better. You want questions raised by the reader - it keeps them turning the page.

So, write an outline of your villain, get to know as well as, or even better than the hero. Without a good villain, there is no story.

Happy Writing.     

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