Villains Fortnight: What Makes A Good Villain

The Ink Screen

In a great story, you will have a memorable hero, but also a memorable villain. Too often, the hero is well developed but the villain falls into the category of generic and is not given equal time and investment as the hero. To create an effective villain, you must treat your character as though they were the hero of their own story. And in a way, that’s true. The villain will believe in what they are doing, from their perspective, they are their own hero, and the hero of your story would be their villain. Does that make sense?

The world doesn’t function in dichotomies, it’s not a 50:50 split between good and bad. Similarly, your characters from heroes to villains are not 100% good or bad. Morality has underlying principles but its boundaries are fuzzy and can be subjective, varying between individuals. A believable villain is a believable person…

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