Shame on those nasty villains who wreak havoc on our poor protagonists!
They’re ruthless, devious, cunning, manipulative…and we love them so. Why is
this the case? Why is your spouse so upset every time you come to bed with
Special Edition Voldemort underwear? Ok…that’s extreme (and not
me). But the Question why may not even be as important as the
The endearing qualities of these characters stems from the author’s ability
to breathe life into their personalities. Through the writer’s eyes, we
understand their motivations, accept their means to an end, and watch
with anticipation as they interact with our heroes. Either directly or
indirectly human beings are exposed daily to revenge, suffering, envy, and lust.
So…in one form or another, the most intriguing bad guys or girls are
characters we can relate to.
Elements for creating a good villain:
1. He/she has a backstory. We understand their
2. The villain will go to extremes the faintest of heart
will not dare to go.
3. We can easily identify with particular elements of their
4. Certain attributes both contrast and resemble the
I could easily expand this list…but for now, keep the above points in mind
as you create the character that will be the thorn in your hero’s side.