Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who is your Villian

Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!

Welcome SheWriter's from the Blog Hop!!!! Thanks for visiting. I hope you find useful information here. I thought I'd share two things about me that most don't know.

  1. I love to play practical jokes on my kids. Well, my hubby and I do. We'll take them to the doctor and our youngest will just be there for a check-up but we'll tell her she has to get a shot. Once the waterworks start we'll stop but it is a fun way to keep the kids in-line while we're out. But they're getting older and I think they're catching on to us.
  2. I adore action movies. I'm a junkie. I live vicariously through the andrenaline packed, tension filled, movies I see. I have dreams about them. When new movies are released that have all the elements I like: my mouth waters, I bite my nails, sweat beats my brow...LOL, okay, I just can't wait.

Now on to my tips:

We spend a great deal of time developing our main characters for our stories. We ensure that they have depth and that our audience is able to relate to them but we often overlook another character that is as equally important, the villain.

The same care given to developing the MC should also be given to the villain(s). If your villains are not as highly crafted as the MC, the story will fall flat. After all, the point of the villain is to bring drama and tension. If your story lacks a strong villain then your story will lack the tension needed to capture the reader’s attention. As you develop your villain, some things to consider are:

Who (or what) is your villain?

A villain does not have to be an external force, only. Actually, the best books I’ve read had a good measure of internal conflict. The MC struggles to reach his or her goal because of mistakes that they make. They are at odds with themselves. They can’t decide what direction to go or what to say in the heat of the moment. But remember eventually the MC must come to terms with what must be done and do it.

In my opinion, there should be multiple villains. Again, villains can be inner and outer forces, such as: the weather, doubt (inner struggle), friends, fear (inner struggle)… My point is, the more you throw at your MC the more tension and sometimes the better the story. If you have too much tension, however, the story can also fall flat. Find a happy medium between action (tense moments between the MC and villains) and narration (let the MC go to sleep, take a walk to relax…).

What is your villians goals?

Just as your MC has a goal, your villain must have one too. Even if the MC/narrator does not know that goal, you, the author, must. Everything that your villain does must be done to prevent the MC from obtaining his or her desires. So what does the villain want? He/She should do everything he/she can to accomplish their task.

Is your villain a formidable opponent for your MC?

Your villains villainous skills should parlay him/her a position on the America’s Most Wanted List. He/She should be ruthless and seemingly unstoppable. If every time the villain pops up your MC kicks booty there’s no conflict. If the MC can figure out what the villain wants and how to stop him from getting it on page two of your story, you’re probably going to lose your audience. You’d sure lose me. Make the villains goals complicated, not as complex as the Tax Codes but enough that your audience will keep wanting to know what he/she will do to accomplish this crazy thing they want.


  1. I just started writing a detective story with what I hope is a strong villain, and these points are all really helpful. Good food for thought, thanks!

  2. Oh,I haven't read a good detective story in a while. Yes, you'll need a super villian for that type of story. Good luck with it!!!

  3. Villains are so much fun to write! I'm stopping by as part of the blogger ball. It's nice to meet you.

  4. Hi Dawn! As an actor, my favourite characters to play are villains. Except you have to play them as pople not "villains", not judge them, or indicate to the audience in any way that you don't like the character... Villains are misunderstood heroes! xx, isabelle

  5. Hey, Kelly, nice to meet you. I agree villians are fun to write.

    Isabelle acting the part of a villian must be uber exciting, well, acting at all IMO is thrilling! You're correct in your assessment, villians are misunderstood heroes.

  6. Great advice, Dawn. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks Helen and Anne. I love sharing.

  8. I am working on a story right now that has a flesh and blood villain. It never dawned on me that the thunderstorm is also a villain!

  9. Janel - Oh, yes, the weather can be an awesome villian. Villians can be so unique to write. They can be just about anything. Have fun writing your story!!!

  10. My all-time favorite element is internal conflict, perhaps, because it's such a prevalent aspect of real life.

    This is a great post; I look forward to reading more :)

  11. Thanks Kathy. I love inner conflict creates this special relationship between the reader and the MC. All my stories have oddles of inner conflict.

  12. I love your question 'Who is your villain?' It can be asked of so much more than a character in a story. Thank you so much for giving me something to think about. Much appreciated.

  13. Great post. I found you from the she writes blog hop I am trying to visit everyone who was listed. I love this post and I agree with your thoughts on multiple villans. Great Blog!

  14. Thanks Serendipity. Glad you enjoyed it. There were a lot of great blogs on the hop. Happy hopping!!!


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