Partridge India Writing Tips| Crafting Villains Pt 3

May 4

Partridge India concludes Crafting Villains with part 3.


Villains can come in a wide variety, too many to list in one entry. As such we will only provide three examples. These examples are not limited by genre or setting, as such you can apply them in any manner of story. Research and explore other examples and types of villains to develop your own.


Crafting Villains
Mordred, once a hero, fatally betrayed King Arthur.

The Fallen Hero– some of the greatest villains were once heroes. Perhaps a decorated police officer succumbed to temptation and became a criminal. Perhaps a doctor went insane and became a mad scientist. Or perhaps a great wizard turned their self into an undead monster. They might have been the former mentors of your hero. Anyway you write them, the Fallen Hero is an example of when a great hero betrays their integrity or goes too far. A Fallen Hero can be a dark reflection of your main hero, sharing key qualities that make the villainous and heroic differences of your characters stand out more. When writing a Fallen Hero villain it is important to consider why they fell, how they fell, and how these things will affect the relationship between your villain and your hero.


The Sympathetic Villain– sometimes a villain’s past or their current motivations, the factors which had driven the character to being a villain, can be understandable and even sympathetic. A villain could resort to evil and criminal methods in order to cure their dying spouse. A villain might be an extreme vigilante, acting out of revenge for suffering inflicted upon their self or their loved ones. Sympathetic villains tend to be the most human, as their goals and motivations are understandable even if their methods are horrific.


Crafting Villains
The Wicked Witch of the West, from ‘The Wizard of Oz.’

The Craven Coward– Not all villains need to have a noble side. Every now and then, to showcase the difference between the hero and the villain, you can show that the hero is indeed the better, braver person than the villain. Often enough such characters are bullies, and it can be satisfying to the reader when a bullying villain finally realizes they are beaten and undergoes a mental and emotional breakdown. While such a villain can still be dangerous and threatening, at their core they are cowardly.

Partridge India trusts this helps

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By Ian Smith

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