Writing Villains is easy! Just follow my 8 Steps
So you are writing villains and need help? Of course you do! Every story needs a good villain, and by a good villain, I mean someone for the hero to defeat. Let’s face it, the villain really isn’t all that important to the story. The villain is just there for the hero to fight against. So don’t spend much time crafting one. Follow these easy steps and you’ll have a villain fit for any hero to defeat!
- Make your villain purely evil just for the sake of being evil. They just like it! They don’t need any kind of motivation for their actions. Villains aren’t supposed to be relatable after all. They’re the villain!
- If you just have to have motivation for you villain, the only acceptable one is World Domination.
- Your villain cannot have just any name! Your villain needs to be known they’re the villain by their name. Use something clever like General Von Evil. But of course most just know your villain as the Dark Lord!
- Your villain must have AMAZING dialogue to taunt the hero, and there needs be a lot of it. You should use lines like, “Do you think you can defeat me?” or “You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this moment.” OH, and a catch phrase! Like “Has a mouse come to play with the cat?”
- The villain should not, I REPEAT NOT force the hero to reflect on their own motivations and wonder if they are doing the right thing. A villain that forces the hero to have inner reflection is just BORING!
- Your villain needs to have an evil base, probably built to look like a giant skull, inside a volcano, in an otherwise dead land to show just how EVIL your villain is. Villains don’t like the stuff normal people do after all. Skulls and volcanoes.
- Your villain has to employ many bland henchmen. They should be carbon copies of each other and completely inept. If they can put up any resistance to your hero, then the reader would just get bored.
Or you could make a stupid villain that is relatable, that acts in a believable and logical way because of their past. Make it so they see themselves as the good guy just with goals in contrast to the hero’s and the reader can understand their motivation. You could give them a normal name, like any normal person could become a villain, that they weren’t just born to be evil. You could try to be original with the villain’s dialogue and not fill it with platitudes and clichés and make them sound actually dangerous and not like a plate of cheese. You could make a villain that reflects the hero, making the hero question their own choices and wonder if they may have switched roles in different circumstances. Or maybe the hero realizes they are actually the villain, which they would be to the villain’s eyes. Perhaps the villain had a home before everything went wrong, one not in the shape of a skull or in a volcano. And just maybe anybody who happens to follow your villain are actually their friends, or a diverse bunch of people who believe the villain is trying to make their lives better.
But that would be BORING. Who would want to read a villain like that? Talk about a snore fest. Making a villain multifaceted and relatable. That’s just silly.
Who are you favorite villains? Let us know what you enjoyed about them.
If you want help on developing villains, and any other character, I recommend this book. I’ve gotten a lot of miles out of my copy.