Developing Villainous Characters – Part 3

Just coming into my three-part series on developing villainous characters? Make sure to read my suggestions in part one and part two!

Give your villain/character a fatal flaw.
There are multiple movies that showcase this trick (Pulp Fiction, Scarface, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone), and often it is the fatal flaw that brings the villain to their downfall, rather than the hero being the ultra-smart, ultra-handsome hero that we know he is. It adds complexity if the villain is the reason why he doesn’t win. Here is a great list of phobias to help you.

Give the villain a good side.
Surprise your reader by showing the softer side to your villain so that they’re not so sure he’s such a bad guy after all. If he can show he has a good side, then he gains the reader’s sympathy and suddenly makes things more complicated. Now that’s putting some twists into the mix.

Finally, maintain control over your villain.
Don’t just let him disappear at the end of the book! Give your reader a sense of closure, even if you’re writing a series. Your villain must suffer some sort of punishment/consequence for their actions, fitting to their crimes. Or, better yet, let them get away with a couple of things so the reader gets blindsided.

Thanks for participating! I hope to have another set of series about setting and research, two of my favorite topics. If you have a topic you want to discuss, contact me about guest posting!

Do you have any other tips and hints for developing villainous characters? Leave a comment and let everyone know about it!