Site Monkey
Savvy Crew
Savvy Super Mod
Savvy Mod
Premium Member
Going Indie
One of the sure ways to make a story memorable is to introduce a great villain.
Obstacles push a story to its limits, make you worry about the hero/heroine, and ensure that success at the end is earned (if you’re going for a happy ending). The villain can be the ultimate obstacle because, unlike Nature or a personal challenge (like addiction), the villain can respond directly, cleverly, and surprisingly to every fresh move by the hero/heroine. Villains grow and mutate. And they also make the harms done personal.
Unfortunately, villains can also be cardboard (I see you there twirling your mustache) or too nice. Sometimes this happens because writers identify with the protagonist and may be unconsciously protecting him or her. Or they don’t work hard enough on the villain. Or they are uncomfortable with imagining bad behavior. Writers can be too nice for their stories’ good.
Allow me to nudge you if you have a lukewarm villain by addressing four points:
No one will fear for...
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