10 December 2012

Creating Villains - Part III

Here are some of the villains from my childhood.


I know not very threatening, unless you're the Road Runner, Laura Ingalls, or Captain Kirk. I've never gone for the supper scary stuff in tv, movies or books. One night, when I was about 10, I flipped on late night tv. The Exorcist was playing. I started watching it, not knowing it was a horror movie. I got so scared I turned it off,  went to bed, and
started to cry. My dad heard me. He turned the t.v. back on and we watched the rest of the movie.The whole timed he pointed out the special effects and cinematic details that go into film making. He was a smart and patient man. He knew if I (and he) were to have any peace that night (and probably many nights to come) I has to see the final outcome to the demon possession, but at the same time he took the horror out of it.

Here's the final part of the some the best advice I've gleaned on how to make memorable villains.


A MIRROR – often the villain will reflect the hero’s flaw back at himself and shows what could happen if the hero fails to solve his problems. A villain can show “…what could happen [to the hero] if they gave into the temptation that rests within all heroes’ hearts. And it is the hero seeing their own darkness reflected in the villain—and the villain seeing the remnants of their virtue in the hero—that causes such killer chemistry” Think Darth Vader and Luke or even Laura and Nellie. [http://www.omnivoracious.com/2012/09/creating-villains-and-heroes-with-killer-chemistry.html]

HERO OF HIS OWN STORY – “The villain is the hero of his own story.”
“Heroes, by their very nature, have to REACT to trouble. Villains get to CREATE it.  They’re active, they have plans and plots and all sorts of schemes up their sleeves.  The villain has a master plan, and the hero’s job is to stop them.” [http://www.scott-tracey.com/2010/03/26/how-to-create-a-villain/]

“A worthy adversary is —a smart, wily, dangerous creature who tests your protagonist’s courage and prowess. Stupid, bumbling characters are good for comic relief, but they make lousy villains. The smarter, more invincible the villain, the harder your protagonist must work to find his vulnerability and the greater the achievement in bringing him to justice.” [http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/3-techniques-for-crafting-your-villain]

Which villains have stuck with you from your childhood days? 
Today, who is the villain you just love to hate?

03 December 2012

Creating Villains part II

POINT OF VIEW – “no one sees themselves as mean or evil or bitchy or insane or stupid. Your villain won't either. To him, his actions and his logic are perfectly justifiable.” [http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/villains.shtml]

“Consider the standard motives like greed, jealousy or hatred. Then go a step further. Get inside your villain’s head and see the crime from his perspective. What looks to law enforcement like a murder motivated by greed may, to the perpetrator, be an act in the service of a noble, even heroic cause.” [http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/3-techniques-for-crafting-your-villain]

“…In the real world, people rarely think of themselves as evil. Most of us imagine ourselves to be good people, or at least people whose circumstances in some way excuse their less savory actions. When you look at real-world figures who have done the things to which a mastermind villain might aspire--Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Hitler, etc.--I don’t see any evidence that any of them doubted the rightness of his actions. His behavior made sense to him within the context of his worldview.” [http://www.omnivoracious.com/2011/10/smarter-faster-meaner-richard-lee-byers-on-writing-mastermind-villains.html]

ADMIRAL QUALITIES or PRINCIPLES – a villain often has a redeeming quality or two, devoted to her little brother, an avid recycler, a highly competent boss or a hard working employee. “Did you know Ted Bundy didn’t like to steal cars that were uninsured? He thought it was cruel.” [http://wildrosepress.us/publisher/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1641&Itemid=203]


Who are some of your favorite villains- those characters you just love to hate?
Can you guess the female villains pictured above? You are a real sci-fi geek if you get the last.