Effective Villains

Posted: January 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

Some exercises for when you have trouble with your villains

  1. Write from their point of view. Really get inside their head. People generally don’t see themselves as villains. They will have a way of explaining or justifying their actions. They may for example see themselves as the victim or the instrument of divine (or not so divine) justice. Look at the exercise Deadly Emotions: In their Shoes.
  2. Write the Dear Author letter
  3. If you are having trouble sympathising with them, let them share something with you. Let them love the same thing as you. Admire the same author/ thinker/ composer. Gift them some incident from your own life. Have them come from the same background as you.
  4. Give them a high or humane motive. Andre Jute describes how he humanises a duplicitous spy by making him go back and rescue his cat.
  5. Make them witty or charming. Think Hannibal Lecter.

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