Let's talk about the villain and that conversation I was having with  my friend about how I choose my characters.  How do we create such a being?  Is he a product of our imagination?  Is she a photocopy of someone we've seen somewhere?

I created and encountered several villains in my writing.  I guess what matters the most is, is this someone that we not only hate, but that we love to hate?  What if we complicated it still?  Maybe we love to hate this person, but there's a reason why they act the way they do.  Something is broken in them, cracked, faulty.  Maybe they didn't begin life as a villain at all.

Hero and villain walk the same line.  All it takes is a little push for them to choose what side of the spectrum they really belong in.

Let's pose a scenario.

Hero:  Great guy, has countless blessings descending upon his shoulders.  Things are going perfect for him.  He falls in love with the perfectly proportioned female, is financially secure, respected by all, makes the right choices always.  He has nothing to fear, but everything to lose. 

What if one by one we take those things away from him?  Well, our hero is a fighter.  He'll wage war, break more than a small sweat, anything to regain his loses.  What if we make it imposible for him?  What if we let the obstacles wound him?  He's walking that line.  What will he do to regain his status?  What will he do for the one he loves?  Will he kill, mame, rape, steal?  Doesn't that make him a villain?

Villain:  Bad guy.  The world has kicked him to the curve.  This is someone found constantly coniving, coveting what he doesn't have, whether it be position, money, power, or a woman.  This person kills because he can, no regrets.  He mames, rapes, steals.  The world is his pot of gold. 

What if we complicate things?  Let's drop a baby at his doorstep.  (God no!)  He is presented with a being whose life is completely dependent on him.  What will he do?  We expect the villain to pick up the child and toss it in a dumpster somewhere, but...  What if the villain starts to remember how he was treated when he was a child?  What if he sees the baby as a golden opportunity?  There's a choice.  He's walking that line.  Will he change, alter his ways?  Will he even consider it?  Maybe not, but it will give us a glimpse into his heart.  And just for a moment, a brief moment, that small spark fashioned the start of a hero.

In my first book, there are two villains.  The first is a woman.  She didn't start out evil.  As a matter of fact, she had everything going for her, even the hero.  I wrote her in with the intention of getting her out of the way.  I messed with her head by ruining her perfect world.  She crossed the line, and it only got worse from there.  By the time the first hundred pages went by, I was delighted to kill her.  I even used my heroine to do it.  She can be a little bit dark.  She walks the line too.

My second villain was a man, a warlord.  He followed orders from someone too dark to explain.  Well, not true, I describe him somewhere around book 5, I think.  Those who follow orders feel justified because they're doing it for the greater good.  But what is the greater good?  Isn't it all a matter of perspective?  Doens't that point of view changed as we evolve.  I presented the villain with his only weakness, a woman he adored and was completely against his crazy crusade.  That pure love made me not hate him for a heartbeat, and then I hated him again for other reasons.  When I killed him it was a pleasure.  I used my hero to do it.

Writing is fun.  If I didn't have a day job, I'd probably spend all day doing it.

Well, time to hit the gym now.  Stay tuned tomorrow as I post my first poem from that sad teen that everybody hated.

Here's a quote from a fellow poet who was an expert in looking within the human heart.
If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

                                                 ~Henry W. Longfellow~


  1. That was a great post. Gives me lots to think about. My first book wrote itself. All the plot twists & characters came to me in whole so I didn't have figure any of that out. Since I know I will never be able to duplicate that process, I'm looking for inspiration for creating my next story & characters. This really helps. Thanks, Laila!

  2. Thanks Nancy. Glad to be of help. I do a lot of rambling....^-^....

  3. Well done, Laila. I do a lot of thinking about my heroines but not enough thinking about their enemies. You did a good job of explaining how to create villains. Thank you! I love your blog; I am glad I found you right here at the beginning. Count me as your newest follower! If you have a minute, I hope you will come and visit mine, too. Have a good Friday!

  4. Thank you, Pam. I woll most certainly check out your blog...as soon as I figure out how to find you...^-^...


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