Villains

Dear World

Please Kill Me,

Greetings, and Happy end-week, (or just Friday, depending on your level of enthusiasm). Welcome, and as always it’s a sincere pleasure to have you.

Assuming that you’ve got nothing better to do at the moment, (you don’t), how about we share some literary insight? (#MeFirst #OneSidedConvo.)

Any who’s it’s (whozits?),

Villains, (also known as – the real reason we love Batman so damn much).

There is no good hero, without their ne’er do well counterpart. You know him: the a**hole, the fighter, the anarchist, (the guy who makes your sandwich without gloves on) – he/she is the bane of our hero’s existence, (that we root for -until of course things get a little crazy).

Writing a great villain is complex work, however, there is a bit of a formula to it – that I will breakdown simply as E.V.I.L. (#PatentPending).

E. – the reader should be able to feel a sense of empathy for the antagonist at large. Sure, you may be tempted to write the “MOST RUTHLESS BADDY OF ALL TIME” – and if so, then hats off to you.

However be warned, that perpetual anything -especially in the written medium is a gigantic snooze-fest. That becomes even more valid when the villain seems to be void of motive, thoughts, or feelings.

By no means am I saying that this is impossible, but the well-done ones, are few and far between.

*Make us feel for them in some way shape or form, and you’ve got yourself a classic start.*

V. – despite the swan song that should be the villains original intent – they will, of course, run off course and tread ever-so-smoothly into the “DANGER-ZONE”,(Kenny Loggins anyone??? No???)-

*blank stares*

(Okay, I’ll move on). The villain should have a turning point, wherein -despite their intentions- they have a sort of, break from rationality and become vicious. 

Now, don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t need to be a “balls to the wall” – (Hitler reincarnate?) type of shift, but in the context of the story- it should go adamantly against the defining qualities of his/her subsequent obstacle.

*Keep the villain interesting by establishing the lengths of which they are willing to go, to see their intentions materialize.*

I. – to create a truly gut-wrenching villain, you need to make sure that their intentions are understood. No, you don’t have to go into any extreme detail, (at that point you’ve basically got another story to write) – however, including what they want, helps the audience to identify with their actions, as well as help to create an undertone of tension when certain things occur.

Ex.   You: “He took the watch! Isn’t that NUTS!”

Reader: “No, how’s that nuts? Who are you? Please get away from me!”

You: “The watch contains the souls of {Insert Fictional Thing Here}, with it, he can destroy the planet.”

Reader: “Oh! That is nuts. You should’ve put that in the story. Now again, please get away from me.”

*Intent is important, even for the antagonist. Ensure that you let the reader in on it. How you inform the reader of intent – is where you should be looking to shine.*

And finally,

L. – your villain should be loathsome. Obviously, this one mostly matters if you’re writing a traditional good v. evil kind of story. However, even in the most obscure tales, the good and the bad, (despite how similar) -should have a clear line between them. That line, of course, being what lets us (the humble readers) know that there is or will be some “worthwhile to watch” collision.

Even if you are writing an anti-hero or “the villain is the protagonist”  kind of story, there should be some loathsome quality attributed to the character, (that the non-psychopaths), will root against.

Not only that, but the little nuggets of ingenuity that can come from the loathed will provide you with insurmountable amounts of inspiration: whether it be in the dialogue, the plot development, (or learning to shower after every 5,000 or so words).

*Make us love to hate them.*

 

Alright team, we made it through the week, and now, it’s time for two days of erasing our progress via seemingly endless inebriation, (though, I’m sure we’ll get some writing in too).

As always, likes, comments, and shares are much appreciated -(and they make my puppy happy).

Also, if you’re feeling some separation anxiety over the weekend – here’s a short story to hold you over – The Girl in the Garage.

And, that’s all she wrote folks.

See you Monday, for a thing about words.

Enjoy Your Weekend,

-Antwan Crump.

 

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5 thoughts on “Villains

  1. It is interesting that there seems to be so few believable and great villains! One of the best ones that comes to mind for me, is the Phantom of the opera! Am now thinking of the movie from like.. 2004, which is the last version I encountered. Oh lord, did I feel for him! I wanted to CRY cause he was so perfect: loving, sad, deformed, passionate, and also dark and cruel deep inside of course. But! That was all because of his deformed face and his lonely life, of course… I don’t think I have ever been more in love with a villain!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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