Monday, June 1, 2015

V is for Villain

Ana muses about creating a fascinating villain character.

I like villains. I like how they embody the antagonistic force in a story. Good vs evil personified.
A good villain gives the hero and heroine someone solid to fight against.

What makes a good villain?

Villains have to have motives for what they do. They have to believe that they deserve what they want, and that destroying those who oppose them is justified.

Villains can come in many forms. Villains can be victims themselves. (eg. of child abuse, which inflicted irreparable damage to his personality.)

Villains can be heroes who feel tossed aside. Down deep they still are brave and virtuous, but somehow that valor got mired in real mud and took a wrong turn.

Villains can be crazy or power mad or insanely jealous over someone. They can love whales and be willing to sink fleets of fishing boats to save the endangered creatures they love.

A villain can be the heroine's real estate boyfriend, who wants to build that shopping mall on top of the swan pond because money is more important than the swans.

A villain can be time, or the best friend who lies to get the girl for himself. The ex-wife who isn't happy and doesn't want her ex to be happy either.

 In the old days villains had moustaches and kicked the dog. Audiences are smarter today. They don't want their villain to be thrown at them with green limelight on his face. They want an ordinary human being with failings.”—Alfred Hitchcock


  1. Love the Hitchcock quote! A meaty villain is so much fun to get to know. One of my favorite authors used to say her villains were compilations of her ex-boyfriends. And I have to say, I really enjoyed redeeming my villain to make him into the hero of the sequel. :)

  2. Agree with Hitchcock. I don't really like 'obvious' or stereotypical villains in stories. I think in romance stories the 'villain' has to be more subtle. .

  3. I like the compilations of ex-boyfriends idea!

  4. Ex-boyfriends make great villains. I named one of my heroine's ex's after a former boyfriend of mine. I got a lot of 'vindictive' pleasure making him the bad guy in the story.