Last blog, I covered how to fill up your creative well. If you missed it, you can check out the article here.
Character creation is easy, right? Tall, dark, brooding anti-hero. Or slight, blonde, with an ethereal air about them.
But it leaves out the why. Why does tall and dark brood all the time? What give the slight blonde that ethereal air? And my favourite question – why does the villain think what they are doing is the right thing?
I firmly believe (and perhaps I’m wrong), that no one wakes up and chooses to be evil. Whatever they do, they think it’s for the right reasons. Now, the rest of us may not agree, and from the outside, it may look entirely wrong. You know, murdering, starting wars, but pretending you’re saving people from themselves.
I’ve found that the villains that we love to hate, are because we can, just a tiny bit, understand them. And maybe see a bit of ourselves in them. It makes total sense to sympathize with the parent who wants to save their child going after the evil prince. Or the dragon guarding a carefully curated hoard that’s taken them centuries to amass from the thieving humans who only desire to add to their own wealth.
Of course, I’m not talking real world villains here, but those like Nyx from the Medorian chronicles. Oh, I hated him when he was first introduced. But that character arc… Lynette Noni did a fantastic job with him, and with her other characters, including making us sympathetic to the Big Bad of the series.
In amongst deciding if your character has freckles, or twelve siblings, don’t forget to decide on character traits too. Make your heroes lovable, but make your villains likeable too.
Stay tuned for the next article.