Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Make Your Bad Guys Better!

The villains in your story are certainly integral to the plot. We are really looking for those characters who seem to have a way of really ruining a great day. But, creating a truly strong villain takes a lot more than simply having him (or her) do bad things to the other characters. What makes that
character work so well is the connection.

I have written here before, that the key to many of the stories we read is the connection the author builds between the characters in the story and the lives of the readers. The more the readers can relate to the characters the better they can get sucked into the story. With the villains, we don't want, so much, to relate to the characters, but we do want to somehow find something interesting and appealing enough to want to watch. At some level, we can even find ourselves justifying their behavior.

For some of the characters, the appeal is simply sex appeal. Making these villains amazingly attractive, through money, power or looks can be very powerful in making us justify their behavior.

Consider a few...

ARCHIBALD CUNNINGHAM - I love this character from the movie ROB ROY. Tim Roth's characters is complete slime. This guy is just walking cruelty. And yet, his skill in manipulating people, his fighting skill and, more importantly, his back story makes us watch everything he does and say, "I understand how he got there."

DARTH VADAR - We have watched how he was raised. We saw he was once a good guy. And yet, what do we do. We seem to justify all that he has done and simply say, "But it wasn't his fault." Even
more so, we are attracted to the power he has by simply walking into the room.

DEMI MOORE - Ms. Moore and her role as an executive takes this one in the movie DISCLOSURE. This is sexual harassment people! And yet, she has the looks, she has the power, and she is not afraid to use it.

We can probably come up with a few more, but I think you get the idea here. The key is to find a way to make us justify and get sucked into the villains world. If you make these people too extreme, or lacking any appeal, then we have a hard time really buying into the story.

No comments:

Post a Comment