At the Surrey International Writers’ Conference this year, I attended a workshop by author Wendy Roberts on how to create a great villain. Judging by her popular Ghost Dusters series, I’d say what she does works. Below are some of Wendy’s tips, mixed in with several of my own.
Books, of course, can have more than one villain (bad guy) but should really have only one main antagonist (the baddest bad guy).
1. Know your antagonist. Most of us spend more time developing our protagonist then our antagonist. But we should know our villain as well as, or even better than, our hero. We have to know our antagonist inside and out. To help with this, I ask myself questions. What makes them tick? What in their childhood or past set them on their path? What drives them? Greed? Revenge? Drugs? What do they want out of life? What makes them feel good? What makes them feel bad? Dig deep and find your villain’s motives. But don’t stop there. Read more