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Heros and Heroines wouldn’t be anywhere near as interesting if they didn’t have a Bad Guy trying to take them down.  What would Batman do all day if there weren’t any criminals to chase around Gotham City?

But an important point to remember when writing is that your Villain didn’t just roll out of bed one day and decide to carry out a bunch of evil deeds for no reason.  What motivated him to break up his BFF’s romance or murder his boss, and why does he moon every nun he sees? Insanity is always fun, but most real life bad guys aren’t really crazy.  Sometimes nice guys or girls turn bad because of jealousy, greed, financial hardships, or to seek revenge for a wrong, real or imagined,  they feel someone has done to them.  Some of the most memorable Villains have good qualities that make us almost hope they get what they want.

Your Main Character’s goal is also usually an obstacle that somehow blocks the Villain from his or her goal.

Who are some of your favorite literary Villains?

4 comments on “Villains

  1. The Phantom of the Opera…he’s a lot meaner in the book than he is in the film, but I always understood where he was coming from…

  2. hughiegibson says:

    Two face in Nolan’s dark knight. Heath Ledger stole the show as the Joker but two faces character was more believable. We understood the humanity behind the hideous face. We almost felt sorry for him, understood his pain.

  3. nrhatch says:

    The Wicked Witch of the West. “Fly, my pretties. Fly!”

  4. I always liked the Lone Power of the Young Wizard books, in his/her many forms, avatars and incarnations.

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