Character Development: Creating Villainous Villains
Villains come in many forms such as monsters, people, aliens, mental disorders, ghosts, and relatives. Villains provide the conflict a story needs to be entertaining and interesting. Here are the top 10 ways to create a truly vile villain.
- Perform the introduction and follow up interviews with the villain. In order to develop villains that are credible, believable, and logical, you must know them as well as you know your hero.
- Thoroughly explain throughout your story the villain’s motives and why he feels his actions are justified and rational.
- Explain your villain physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Make him a three-dimensional and complete person.
- Show your readers that the villain has the power and resources to destroy the hero. Make the villain very threatening.
- Do not allow the villain to see himself as evil, insane, stupid, or whiny. People don’t typically view themselves this way, and it will destroy the villain’s credibility if he views himself this way.
- Keep the plot uncertain. Never make it look like either side is definitely going to win. Suspense intensifies a story and pulls the reader in more effectively than any other tool.
- Use the villain to showcase the hero’s qualities. The perceived power of the hero is strongly correlated to the villainy demonstrated by the villain.
- Strengthen the villain by giving him a chance to present his case while demonstrating his intelligence, logic, and adaptability.
- Give the villain traits most people hate or loathe about themselves or society at large. This allows the reader to understand and relate to the villain’s motives.
- Give the villain normal or even likable traits that are demonstrated by average people. Doing so will strengthen the plot and the characters by creating an inner conflict within the reader who despises what the villain is doing, while at the same time relating to and possibly even liking him.