If you are writing a story, you should remember that one of the most important elements is the conflict. The conflict is the source of all the drama within the story, and it is also what pushes the story forward. And from your cast of characters, the source of the conflict usually comes from the antagonist.
The villain if you will? And if you want your story to be deeper and multifaceted, one very important aspect is always the antagonist. Through your antagonist, you can create obstacles and challenges that will not only move your story further, but elevate it as well. So it goes without saying that you should make your villain as unique as possible.
Here are 5 devilishly clever tips on how to write a villain:
- Give your villain a backstory
If you want your villain to be as interesting as possible, you should really give him or her a backstory. By giving your villain a backstory, you are giving them a sense of history. The backstory could practically be anything.
The villain could be your protagonist’s brother or sister. Or he or she could be an old mentor or lover. It is always a good idea to connect your villain’s backstory with that of your main cast.
By doing so, you are making both their backstories more interesting and multifaceted.
- Give your villains positive traits
Your villain does not necessarily have to be overtly evil. Making your villains overtly evil can make them a bit boring and somewhat unrealistic. Instead you can give your villain relatable and positive traits.
By doing so, you will be able to humanize them and even make readers feel sympathy for them. This will give enable you to write your villains in a more multifaceted and open minded way.
- Stay away from clichés and tropes
If there’s one thing you should avoid when writing a villain, it is using clichés and tropes. This is because clichés and tropes are overly used concepts that have lost their uniqueness and hold on the public eye. And they are usually looked upon with scorn and derision by most writers.
And if you use them, you are technically showing your potential readers that you are lazy and that you don’t respect them enough to work hard. So when you write your villain you should forget every concept that you know about villains. Instead you should try to think outside the box and think up of something truly unique and groundbreaking.
- Give them a clear motivation
When you write a villain, you should give them a clear motivation. Don’t just write a villain because it is a necessity. Instead you should give them a clear motivation. Give them a reason for their actions.
It can be greed, revenge, lust, etc. Give them goals that they strive for. And have these goals come in conflict with that of your protagonist’s. That way, the confrontation between your villain and protagonist will be inevitable.
- Have fun with it
In many ways making a villain is one of the most important tasks you can have as a writer. This is because without a villain, your work will have no one to perpetuate the conflict. And without anyone to start the conflict, the story won’t ever move forward.
But aside from writing villains being important, it is also very fun. So it is very important that you have fun with the process. Take risks and try out new concepts and ideas. Try to think outside the box.