What makes a good villain?

(Quick disclaimer this works very well for me but that does not mean this will help you. Always take any advice you hear with a pinch of salt.)

Greetings fellow mammals!

One of my favorite things about any book, movie or TV show is the Villain. However it is disappointing when villain are typical and robotic. (Unless the villain is a robot)

Writing a villain is fun and different. Instead of trying to make the hero do the right thing no matter what you do the opposite with villain’s. They did not make it. Somewhere along the way they lost hope and decided to take matters into their own hands.

I really enjoy writing villain’s so I made a small list of things that I think are needed to make a good villain.

1. A past

Every villain was once a small babe in their mother’s arms. Slowly they learned to walk talk and dream. Unless your villain is a robot you need to discover their childhood. Did they have siblings? Kind parents? A loving grandmother?

What was their dream? How did everything go wrong?

2. Strengths

What is a villain good at? Negotiating? Fighting? Strategizing? Anticipating the hero’s every move?

Use your villain’s strengths to counter the hero’s weaknesses. Write them at their best and worst.

3. Weaknesses

What or who makes the villain stop in their tracks? Are they against hurting a person or thing? Does he or she have limits to what they will do?

Every character needs a flaw so please take a moment and focus on one of your most important characters.

4. A goal

What drives a villain to do such terrible things? What does he or she believe they can accomplish once their goal is reached? Why are they risking everything for it?

A villain’s goal should consume their every thought movement and moment. Give him of her something worthy of their time and effort.

5. Fears

Fear drives us to do crazy and sometimes dangerous things. Fears can sometimes be simple and mostly harmless. A villain’s fears tend to consume them. Remember to make your villain fear and show fear when the time is right.

6. A turning point

Every villain was one a hero and every hero can become a villain. What made then leave being a hero behind? Why has he or she vowed to stop and destroy the hero?

Take your time developing your villain. Make them as human as your main character.

7. Style

This is not the most important part of a villain however it might make your more memorable. Whether it’s a villain’s clothes, speech or entrance they should stand out from the other characters.

(Who doesn’t like a villain with a little flash accompanied by substance) After your villain is developed take the time to give them personality.

So to conclude this chat I do hope these tips will help you complete your novel, novella, short story or any other book you have hidden away inside your head. Until next time!

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