Hi ya'll!! Today was a very exciting day. I was fortunate enough to attend the writing workshop at the Clarksburg Harrison Public Library today. It featured five West Virginia authors who shared their advice and tips in the genre they write in. Needless to say it was very informative and helpful to the attending writers. It was also a lot of fun!!! The featured authors were Michael Knost, Carter Taylor Seaton, Eliot Parker, Diana Pischner Walker, and Kirk Judd. I will be sharing what Eliot Parker shared with us on today's blog. I will be doing a post for each author. Hope you enjoy what I learned and it can help you out. Now onto the best part of today. 😉
Creating Villains That Readers "Love To Hate"
(Eliot Parker, Author from West Virginia)
The most compelling and terrifying villains in Literature are the ones that appear the most human and the most appealing. These are the guys that the reader might secretly find himself cheering for. Everyone has been taken advantage of.
Some examples are:
Annie Wilkes from Misery and Iago from Othello
The reader can't help but like these villains, at least a little. That's because the writer stepped into the shadows in order to better understand the motivation of these characters. Try to see the best in your villains.There should be a part of you (and the reader) who thinks he can be redeemed.
Very few villains consider themselves "bad guys"
Remember that every character has a mother
Give them flaws, soft spots, etc.
They need to have weaknesses.Make them responsible for the problems your protagonist faces..
Avoid making the villain a corporation, disease, war.
Make them at least as smart, strong, and/or capable as the protagonist.
If they remain hidden, create proxies that the protagonist must overcome.
Give your villain the same attention you give your protagonist.