Thursday, 22 September 2016

What Every Villain Needs

As writers we're sometimes so preoccupied with making our protagonist tangible enough to jump off the page that we forget about the antagonist. Villains create conflict, therefore they are essential to any good story, and deserve to be fleshed out as much as your hero.

There's nothing more unsatisfying than reading about a bad guy whose only purpose is to be...well bad. Even though he-who-must-not-be-named was truly evil, J.K. Rowling made sure to show how his past explained his cruelty.

So, does your evil doer have the right stuff? Scroll down to see what every villain needs.

1. A diabolical plan. There has to be a reason for their nastiness—being mean isn't enough.

Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians
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2. A mysterious past. People aren't born evil, they're made.

Count Dracula
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3. A slimy sidekick. Usually with dependency issues. However, it's more interesting if their loyalty is from fear, and consequently unreliable.

Scabbers aka Peter Pettigrew with baby Lord Voldemort
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4. An arch nemesis. It's the hero of the story who represents what the villain secretly fears the most.

White Witch from The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
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5. High tech gadgets/special powers. Okay, not totally necessary. It's cool and it helps raise the stakes against the hero.

The Joker from Batman, The Dark Knight
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6. An irresistible charm. A cool demeanor coupled with a handsome figure always helps.

Mrs. Coulter from The Golden Compass
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There you have it, now go make some bad guys and watch your story explode!

Who are your favorite villains? Cheers!

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