Monday, November 18, 2013

Writing Tip- Villains

Have you ever read of those villains who are just evil to the core? Who have nothing, and I mean nothing, redeemable about them? Who kick puppies and make children cry? Everyone has, I am sure.

But- resist the temptation to write them!! A villain who is only evil, only cruel, is a flat character and will easily be forgotten by your readers. I'm not saying that the villian can not start out this way, but as your story progresses, you need to reveal more layers to their story, personality, and beliefs.

Believe it or not, it is extremely rare that any person considered evil, actually thinks of themselves as thus. They either believe that they are working to a greater good (end justifies the means) or that they are really not doing anything wrong at all.

Take some of the villians of Once Upon A Time for example:

Regina, the Evil Queen, who became evil after the love of her life was murdered before her eyes.

Rumpelstiltskin, who became the Dark One so that no one could take his son from him.

And Hook, who became a pirate to fight the unjust deeds of his king.

While their beginnings were honorable, the path they chose was not. And those of us who watch will always remember them for it.


  1. Very good advice. I usually try to avoid making my villains one dimensional characters and show instead the things in life that lead them to making the choices to follow the dark road. It does make for a more interesting villain.

  2. While the villian my not be a victim, they feel that they are the hero/heroine, and are therefore fully justified to do whatever it is they do.
    Anyway ... that's something I like to keep in mind while writing.

    1. Definitely that is part of it. I went with the image that says that because it went with what I am saying and it from Once Upon a Time, one of my favorite tv series.