Creating believable villains
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
We have all seen movies where the villain is unbelievable. Perhaps its poor acting ability. Or possibly the writer didn’t convey it correctly on the script. Sometimes it is the fault of the other actors. Maybe the director was inexperienced. Whatever the problem is the film is destroyed and the audience disappointed. Also the actors, director and the movie company receive a bad reputation.
As writers, we have a responsibility to our readers to make every character realistic. Therefore, we must ask ourselves what makes him or her a bad person? How did they become this way? They didn’t come out of the womb as a villain. What kind of childhood did they have? Was there something in their upbringing that changed their life? Were they the bully or the bullied?
Do they have any redeeming qualities? Are they kind to children and animals? Are they married and have a loving family? Are their friends and neighbors shocked when their secret life is exposed?
If we as writers are able to create lifelike characters, we must ask ourselves these questions.
This kind of writing is not easy. It takes extra effort and time. It is, however, rewarding for us and our readers.