The Fiction Writer: Create the Perfect Villain

Writing the Perfect Villain
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July 15, at am. Christen that character and the rest will follow. However, he and Hamilton are often in competition with each other and have a different set of beliefs and standards, which leads to the conflict and tension that we see throughout the story. But when you can also show your villain's complex, devious, misguided nature from your hero's Point Of View, you know you've created a truly memorable bad guy, and you will have strengthened your protagonist's character and your plotline at the same time. A hero will arise who will prove equal to their challenge.

They hatch many plots, but their bad deeds tend to run aground on the shoals ineptitude more often than they succeed. Prince John , given voice by talented and versatile Sir Peter Ustinov, is a-jangle with nerves and neuroses. He is a petulant bully; a bundle of tics, twitches, unresolved issues, and unrequited desires. His shrill demands and spite-filled posturing would be completely laughable, were it not for the hardship he causes through his self-centered actions. Captain Hook as written in the J. He would also be far less interesting and human, as well.

Darth Vader

He is, after all, set against a gaggle of appealing ragamuffins in the best Disney style. Villains foolish enough to take on Disney kids will end up thoroughly thwarted, trussed in their own tangled plots, and served for breakfast to the nearest, passing crocodile. Not all villains fit tidily into one category or another.

Some, such as the Big Bad Wolf , fit comfortably into two or more slots along the continuum of evil doers. He is simply behaving as his nature dictates, however, his clever tricks are finally overcome by superior force, and order is restored. The wolf that made life so interesting for the three little pigs was behaving according to his nature, but that nature was flawed. This wolf believed he was smarter than the average pig. Alas for the wolf, this was not the case, and he was thwarted by superior tactics. Disney villains have given us some of the greatest thrills and funniest moments in movie history.

It is fortunate for the world of Disney heroes, that most of the villains they must face are cast in the mold of Jafar and his ilk. A hero will arise who will prove equal to their challenge.

1: Make a villain three-dimensional

What is the role of the villain in the story? Sauron is characterized by his power over the all seeing eye, which sees everything in Middle Earth like the ultimate Big Brother. Moriarty is a criminal mastermind who tries to outsmart using intelligence. Use an existing person as a model for the villain.

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To help you get inspiration for your villain, you may a person who already exists that you find terrifying or scary. This could be your older sibling, a family friend, or a celebrity. Using an existing person as a model can help make it easier to then add or subtract elements to create your own fictional version of the person. You may exaggerate some of the real life details of the person to make them appear more threatening or intimidating.

Maybe you give Aunt Edna a physical trait that is scary, such as a glass eye or a facial scar. Or, maybe you exaggerate her personality, making her meaner and more aggressive. You may also look into historical figures who have been known as villains, such as a serial killer or a political figure. You could then add details to the historical figure to make them appear more villainous. You can get a better sense of the villain by defining her by her key character traits.

These could be simple one word descriptors that help you paint a better picture of the villain and her goals once you sit down to write the story. Look for character traits that will define your particular villain and make her more than just a one note character. Determine how and when the villain turned to the dark side. Many of the more popular and successful villains in literature have engaging backstories, where they have a history of bad deeds due to a pivotal event in their lives.

Determining what event or moment made the villain turn dark can help to create a more fleshed out character. Or, you may have a villain who stumbled into a bad situation and made a poor moral judgement. This may then have lead the villain down a dark path.

3 Ways to Create a Compelling Villain For Your Next Story

Outline the dark things done by the villain in the past. This may be a progression of smaller bad deeds to bigger bad deeds, or one or two awful things done within a certain period of time. Try to be detailed about these deeds, as this will help you build the villain into a living, breathing character who nevertheless makes choices and decisions just like everyone else. You may also note how these deeds were done.

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Maybe the villain got his henchmen to kill someone or personally hurt specific characters in vindictive and sadistic ways. These dark things could then trigger the hero to go after the villain. Give your villain humanizing traits. Good villains will cause readers to question their own moral judgements as they may end up sympathizing with the villain, despite the bad things he has done.

A villain who is sympathetic and evil is way more interesting than a villain who is just pure evil, as readers will be quick to dismiss him and unable to relate to him. Giving your villain humanizing traits will prevent him from becoming a one-dimensional character. Or maybe have a villain who spares an innocent bystander, despite his evil master plan to take over the world.

The villain Satan from Milton's Paradise Lost is portrayed as a fallen angel from heaven who is an outsider and an outcast. These qualities are humanizing because most of us can relate to the feeling of being isolated or rejected in our own lives. This makes Milton's portrayal of Satan more sympathetic and nuanced. Adding in details that make the villain human will also allow your story to feel more developed and well-rounded. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your villain is as detailed and defined as your hero. This way, the showdown between the two of them at the climax of the story will feel that much more exciting and engaging.

Decide if your villain will have special powers or abilities. This may depend on if you are creating a villain for a genre story, such as a fantasy story, or if your story is based more in reality or the thriller genre. Your villain may have special powers or abilities that allow her to get a leg up on the hero and do incredible feats of evil.

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Giving your villain a specific power or ability will deepen her character and raise the stakes of the story. Or, maybe your villain has the ability to access dark magic, which then allows him to wreak havoc on a peaceful land. Determine the conflict between the villain and the hero of your story. Once you have given your villain a convincing backstory, you should think about the nature of the conflict between your villain and your hero. Outlining their conflict will also help you structure the rest of the story, starting from the beginning of the conflict and building up to the showdown between the villain and the hero.

This may then lead to the villain seeking out the hero and plotting to control the hero for her own uses.

Or, maybe your villain can only achieve her goal by taking something from the hero. She may then pursue the hero and hurt the hero, leading the hero to retaliate and fight back. Give the villain a distinct voice. One way to characterize the villain in a scene so she stands out is to give her a distinct voice. Think about how the villain might speak to others in a scene or to the hero. Now take that further. You get over it, I know. But dwell on that initial visceral reaction a moment.

Villains Are Everywhere

From the eponymous monster in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, to the I believe that to write the perfect villain, you have to make sure the villain has no. Of all the characters you will ever create as a writer of fiction, one of the most rewarding is a good villain. Guide to writing better villains using.

But for now, entertain that immediate first reaction. Where was your heart and mind then? But I am telling you to tap into your dark side long enough to know what makes a good villain tick.

How to Write Antagonists and Villains

Maybe in childhood, maybe in adolescence, maybe later. At some point, rather than learning and growing, their maturation process stunted and stalled. Roots of bitterness and anger sprang up in them. On the surface they may have many, if not most, of the same attractive qualities of your hero. But just beneath the surface fester the qualities you can access in yourself if you allow yourself to. But giving him motivation will make him more than a cardboard cutout. So conjure a backstory for your villain. Make him real and believable and credible—even attractive in many ways.

The more that apply, the more successful your novel is likely to be.

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