I recently spent an afternoon with my husband at one of the local tourist spots down here in Florida. I think you all know which one I mean…the main character has big ears and a long tail.
Like about everybody else in the place I wanted to buy a souvenir. So, I was practical in this issue, and, since it was a hot sunny day, I decided on a ball cap. I examined the selection and saw all the favorite characters that everyone loves; the beautiful princess’s, cute animals and favorite cartoon characters. Then I found the one I had to have! It was embroidered around the cap with villains from the most popular stories and movies. It surprised me that nobody else was picking it up to buy. It called out to me, with its deep purple color and my favorite villain characters. Characters that scared me when I was a child and made me laugh as an adult.
This weekend as I was finishing up my first rough copy of the second book in my series, Storm Voices, and I had to do some serious thinking about the villain in my book. Because up until the ending, he’s been a very likeable character.
This made me realize how important the villain is to your story. It would be boring if everything was good in your story and nothing ever posed a challenge or a threat to your characters. Even cartoons have a villain character. It adds interest to the stories suspense, making the reader want to fight and cheer on the main character to defeat that evil villain.
Remember, you need to give your villain interest and depth. Give your reader a reason to cheer on the main character into defeating the villain. It’s up to the writer to make your reader love or hate the villain.
You can create circumstances where the villain is a nice character and you feel sorry for him, or you can create circumstances where the villain is pure evil and you can’t wait to see him defeated. It’s critical, that your character is strong; whether it’s the hero or the villain. In some of the best stories I’ve read by Agatha Christie; her hero turns out to be the villain. Now there’s a twist!
So, don’t flat-line your story with boring characters. You created a great hero, now give him the counterpart to make him shine. Make your villain the best you can, whether it be an evil persona or just somebody down on his luck making bad decisions.
Remember, as a writer, it’s your job to create a villain that grabs your readers.