Day 14 – Is Your Villain Pure Evil?

31 Days to Plan Your Novel

Does your villain wear a black hat? Does he twirl his moustache and cackle, reveling in his own deviousness? Come now. You know better than that.

Even if you’re writing about a universe where everyone’s most dominant personality trait overpowers all the others, you need to spend a little time developing the motivations and deeper personalities of your characters. Most people understand this about their protagonist, but for some reason, antagonists – especially if they are villainous antagonists – don’t seem to get the same treatment.

But ‘look how evil I am’ will only get you so far.

Not all antagonists are what I would classify as villains. Remember, an antagonist is someone or something trying to stop your protagonist from achieving their goal, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. It just means that he has his own goals that are contrary to those of the hero in your story.

I challenge you to think of your antagonist as a regular person – one with goals and dreams and friends he treats well. And if he truly is a villain – so corrupted by evil that you can’t find a shred of good in him, go back in his history, and figure out how he came to be that way. Is there a secret pain or trauma? Was he raised this way, and if so, what is the family secret that bends them toward evil? Is redemption possible?

Day 14

Every October, hundreds of bloggers gather at The Nesting Place to write for 31 days straight on a variety of different topics, teaching and encouraging and offering tips and tricks to make life easier.

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