In books and movies, we love these characters (or I should say, hate them). They drive the story forward: Thwarting our beloved hero at every turn, terrifying us with their cruelty, tugging at our heartstrings with their tragic past. Without them, there would be no story.
Who wants to read about a girl named Katniss who lives in Panem, where the government is kind and stable, there’s plenty of food, and nobody dies?
There’s no reason to destroy the One Ring if there’s no Sauron trying to wield its unbridled power.
Tessa would have never met Will Herondale in The Clockwork Angel if the dark sisters hadn’t kidnapped her for the magister first, and that my friends would be the greatest tragedy since Jack didn’t survive in Titanic.
So what makes a good villain, and how do we write one? This is a question I struggled with for years before a lightbulb came on. Here’s a few of the things I’ve discovered when it comes to writing meaningful, dastardly devils.
The second type, is the villain that knows he’s bad, but thinks the ends justify the means. Back to Cinderella’s stepmother; it wasn’t bad for her to want the prince to marry one of her daughters. He was looking for a wife, after all. Any mother would hope her girl would be the one to catch his eye. So she has a good goal, but she was willing to do evil (lock up Cinderella, let the girls destroy her dress, etc.) to accomplish the goal.
The third villain is the scariest in my opinion. The villain who thinks he’s a good guy. Villains like this are how we get Adolf Hitler. The man honestly believed he was doing some divine work by eliminating “lesser” races. The rest of the world saw him as the murderous, vile, creature that he was, preying on thousands of innocent human beings. A fictional example would be Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He’s a self-righteous fiend, who is under the impression that he’s doing the right and holy thing by killing gypsies and keeping Quasi locked away. A villain like this can really up the shiver factor for your story.
A huge thank you to Maddie for that awesome post! Here's some more about her and her closing questions:
Maddie Morrow is a Nebraska farm girl who puts way too much emphasis on Husker football. When she’s not arguing play calls, you can probably find her poking around in the garden, begging her flowers to grow, chasing her little boy around, or looking for tasty new things to feed her husband. Some of her hobbies include getting lost in books, trying to scribble out stories of her own, admiring her guitar collection and sometimes playing them. You can connect with her at her blog, www.wonderfulworldofmylife.blogspot.com
Also, a special thanks to Abigayle for having me on the blog today. It's been great spending time in her corner of the Internet.
Abi again! Wasn't that a great post?! Last week I asked how long you guys thought it took me to write the MH birthday post ... my estimation is around 11 hours o_o That's with having to create some images, set up the Etsy shop, film the vlog, set up the giveaway, etc etc ;) The giveaway is still open!