I hate to make a sound-bite out of a comprehensive hour long workshop, but I like to think of this post as an appetizer. Check out the tape from the conference to get the full meal deal.
How do you make a really good bad-guy? You need to know:
One – Every villain is a hero of his own journey.
Allison quoted Christopher Vogler (The Writers Journey) who says that every villain believes himself to be the hero of his own journey. When you create villains this way it makes them believable, and far more interesting.
Two – Every villain has GMC (Goal, Motivation and Conflict)
A well developed villain like every other character in the book has to have a goal, clearly stated motivation and internal and external conflict. Make them real.
Three – Every villain has an epic moment of choice.
Like the hero, the villain has an epic moment of choice in his life. It might come before the story even begins, but we need to know it to understand what makes them tick.
Bottom Line – Make three dimensional villains that have some humanity. Make them real. They will, “make or break your story.”
I love developing interesting bad guys. Maybe that says something about me. I don’t know, but I find cardboard evil villains fall flat. As Brennan says a good villain challenges the hero and the hero needs to be worthy of the villain. His badness is pivotal.
What do you think?
Whose your favorite bad guy? Any opinions on villains?
One of Allison Brennan’s latest releases, Dead Heat, can be be found here on Amazon.