Villainous Fun: Dissecting Our Favorite Villains, written by Natasha McNeely.
Villains. They’re a lot of fun to read about and a lot of fun to write about. Trust me, if there’s any kind of character I love writing about, it’s the villain. The bad guys are always present and always have a goal in mind. But, a specific trait that labels them as villains is this:
They get in the protagonist’s way.
Somehow, the protagonist ends up in a fight with the antagonist. A fight for the world, his/her family, the fate of everyone on earth, the universe, and so on and so forth. So, how do they even meet?
At some point in the hero’s life, he/she might have done something to upset the villain. Another option is that the hero is the hero of legend and is destined to save the world, therefore the villain must destroy him/her before he/she thwarts the villains plans.
Sounds valid enough.
Of course, these are only some commonly used set-ups. There are many more and they range from the obvious, ”I see what’s going to happen.” scenarios to, ”Wait, that guy was a villain?” scenarios.
Another thing to keep in mind is that no two villains are the same. Don’t believe me? Look away from the diabolical things they’re doing now and instead focus on what pushed them to that point.
What was their childhood like? Their relationships with others? Friends, family? For all we know, something devastating happened in the villain’s childhood that permanently scarred him or her and turned them into the evil person they are today.
Maybe the bad guy can be saved, can be taken away from the darkness that dictates his actions. Perhaps the person we thought was a devious villain is actually a puppet, used by the true terror in the story to do his bidding while he becomes stronger and gains more influence over other people.
Villains are often the most controversial and unique characters in books, movies and shows. In the end, how we perceive them at the end of the book depends on the author, director and producer.
If the villain’s background is weaved intricately into the story, then by the end of the book, movie or show, the readers/viewers’ opinions may change. Suddenly, the villain won’t seem all that bad anymore.
If portrayed well and the hero’s understanding of his/her enemy changes, then viewers/readers’ opinions are sure to follow.
Many thanks to the lovely Martha for letting me write a guest post for her amazing blog. It’s an honor that she let me
ramble about discuss one of my favorite topics in both reading and writing.
Who’s your favorite villain and why? I’d love to hear about them! If you’d like to discuss your favorite villains and more, feel free to contact me through social media: