Villains, in my opinion, are what moves your narration forward or else we would just have a mediocre story to contend with. Having a good villain goes a long way in creating something compelling. Also, it creates purpose in the story.
It is difficult for someone to buy a story, where you have meat piece characters. That is why you have to ensure that they are believable and relatable. It might take time for you to actually grasp the art of characterization, but once you do, it becomes easy to write. Here are some of the things to take into consideration when writing a villain.
Create a human motivation
One just cat be evil for the sake of being evil. Don’t be in a hurry to write the villain. Take the time to figure out what made them who they are. Something had to have happened to make them the way they are. Was your villain brainwashed? Did he lose his family and it was the protagonist’s fault? Give your villain drive. Make sure it is something human, relatable and something that the villain feels, it’s unforgivable.
Are you writing a villain or just an antagonist?
Some might argue that the difference is the same. An antagonist isn’t necessarily a villain, but a villain is definitely an antagonist. Confused? Here, let me explain.
Villains typically have evil intentions and tend to work against your main character and want to harm them, for whatever reason. An example is Cinderella’s stepmother. Antagonists are more like your character’s competition, like the stepsisters. Your antagonist and protagonist may either both want the same thing, or have different views, but neither is really evil or actively trying to harm the other.
It is a mouthful, but I hope you have understood. Villains are evil, like really really evil. Like Scar, in Lion King.
Are they a hero in their own book?
No villain thinks they are a bad guy, even if they are aware they do evil things. They believe they are doing it for an important cause. It might be for family, or a future they envision. In their book, he is the hero and your protagonist is the villain. Making your villain an character in their own book adds character and depth into their story.
Consider making them self interested
The reason we love heros is that they act for the greater good, even at the expense of their lives. This is why we love them. Villains, on the other hand, are self-centred and act at the expense of the others. It is their way or the highway. Therefore a villain who is self-interested in a good character trait to have. It makes them easy to hate.
Give them a belief system
If your character is going to compromise their morality, it is going to be for something they strongly believe in. It may be a bit skewed, okay very skewed, but it needs to be something they believe in strongly. This is what keeps them moving forward, gives them the motivation to continue fighting your hero.
How do you create strong villains in your writing? Who are your favourite villains? Tell us all about them in the comments section!