Connecting to Villains

Forums Fiction Characters Connecting to Villains

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  • #117728
    Hope Ann
    @hope-ann

    Another question about villains! We’ve gone over this topic before, but share your favorite tips about connecting to villains. This week’s question is from Ray.

    I have a hard time connecting to my villains, particularly my guy ones! Do you have any tips for connecting for baddies of my story?

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    #117735
    Gracie
    @kimlikesart

      Connecting to villains? Ooh. Give them a detailed back story. Do not make them insane and going after their goal because of insanity. Let there be a reason.

      Vengeance: Someone hurt someone they love in the past, and they are looking for vengeance. On the world for being unjust, or on the one who used the one(s) he loved.

      Revenge: Someone hurt him, and it is his just do to (whatever they are being villainy about).

      Proud: They have too much faith in their abilities.

       

      Another idea. Let them have one weakness. One person/thing they truly love. And show them loving this person/thing.

      Jominkreesa

      Passion means to be willing to suffer.

      #117737
      Wingiby Iggiby
      @wingiby-iggiby

        @hope-ann


        @kimlikesart

        Yeah, villains. They can be the hardest to create, but often the most interesting. I may sound like I have a lot of experience, but I don’t. I actually have none, and that is why I am on here, XD

        Gracie, those are some great points and I definitely need to go over them with my villains. One of them has a pretty good back story, but I need to take some time to interview him about it. My other two main baddies, well, one is basically just a brute because he came from a long line of brutes so it’s sorta in his blood, and the other one….

        Help.

        So, I’m open to assistance!! I don’t really know if the novel I’m working on will ever get finished, or if I’ll really actually pursue writing, but I like developing characters — and if I do decide to work on it, it’ll help to have them down at least.

         

        I know you got mountains to climb,
        But always stay humble and kind -- Tim McGraw

        #117740
        Arindown
        @arindown

          @hope-ann

          This is a very good question, and although I don’t have much experience (I struggle with relating to my villains too) I do have some theories based off of  inspiring villains that I have read or watched.

          I believe the main thing is to give them reasoning. Once a villain has a reason to do evil, you can then get the feel for how and why they do what they do. I got to see Ant-Man and the Wasp lately, and I liked what they did with the villain. Her name was Eva, and she had been hurt badly in the past by one of the main-characters. Her reasoning was revenge, and hopefully, to be healed from the wounds that were slowly killing her. I was able to sympathize with her, because underneath her “villain-ness,” she was just a girl who wanted a life like everyone else.

          I think the second thing, like some others have mentioned, is to show your reader that your villain started, or is, like anyone else, they’ve just been corrupted. One of the most powerful examples of this is Gollum in Lord of the Rings. He was once a little creature like a hobbit, but not anymore. What  happened to him would happen to Frodo, if the ring wasn’t destroyed. You can relate, and also add to stakes, by making the villain someone who is surprisingly similar to your Main Character, even with some of the same needs, wants, and interests.

          I don’t know if that helps any, but those are some of my ideas.

          Forgiven. Loved. Creative.

          #117744
          Wingiby Iggiby
          @wingiby-iggiby

            @arindown

            That is very thought provoking! I need to dwell on that for a while, thanks a lot! 😀 I want to make a unique villain, and this’ll help. And yes! It is so powerful to show a villain who isn’t just a crazed mad-man, but actually has human feelings. Maybe I can try to incorporate my main bad guy more — he was sorta going to be the “big reveal at the end of the book” type of guy, but I could insert sections of his own and–

            I think I might be getting somewhere 😉

            I know you got mountains to climb,
            But always stay humble and kind -- Tim McGraw

            #117746
            Gracie
            @kimlikesart

              @arindown

              That was great!


              @wingiby-iggiby

              Mwahaha…or something like that…

              (: I am (sadly) the ‘the devil’s advocate’…a lot. I’m able to see things from the villain’s perspective rather easily, so, when I watch/read something and I can’t get the villain’s inner workings? It makes me upset. It makes me wander if the bad guy has a brain…or a past. That’s why I don’t like it when insanity is the excuse…so shallow…

              Anyway. I’ll use the character in one of my books who is masterminding the destruction of the USA’s economy… (not that it needs any mastermind at the moment…) Ahem.

               

              (Use his alias,…or real name?) Hmm. We’ll call him Mr. ? just because…

               

              His past is so detailed I’m writing a separate book on him.

              His parents partied, hard. When his mother got pregnant with ‘?’ his father forced her to stay home in their dumpy apartment. No more drinking, or playing the town.

              Having a child sobered Vincent (the dad) up. He wanted to be a good father for his son. It had little to no affect on the mother, Caroline. She tried to sneak drinks, and fought crazy with Vincent about wanting her old life. She even threatened to go have their baby murdered.

              Long story short, ? was born.

               

              And I have to go. More later.

              Jominkreesa

              Passion means to be willing to suffer.

              #117747
              Gracie
              @kimlikesart

                Do you have any specific questions about villains?

                Jominkreesa

                Passion means to be willing to suffer.

                #117748
                Ella
                @writergirl101

                  @hope-ann

                  Well, if anyone’s seen Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, they’d know that Thanos is one of the best villains ever. 😋  But really, he is.  I think what makes him such a great villain is his strong goal:  to destroy half of the population to make life better for the other half.  Obviously, that’s evil, but he didn’t have evil intentions.  He truly wanted to make life better for people who had nothing.

                  That said, I think villains who believe they are the heroes are the greatest and most memorable.  The jerks who are evil because “it’s fun” to be evil are hard to like and relate with.  (I hope…😜)  Even the vengeful ones who think “you hurt me so I’ll hurt everyone else” are cliché and hard to appreciate.  Books with those villains don’t have that “it factor” that makes them unique.  Remember, bad guys are people too. 😉  Books sometimes tend to dehumanize villains, as well, which cuts you off from them even more.  Villains need to be relatable, but not similar, appreciated, but not loved.

                  All that condensed into one little sentence:

                  Villains need a clear goal that’s not “destroy the world”, strong conviction and resolve, and a unique spark that makes them come alive on the page.  Villains should be just like protagonists in that they have quirks, habits, loves, and hates.  It’s what makes them human.

                  Oh shoot, that was three sentences. 😉

                  If something goes wrong in your life, yell "Plot twist!" and keep going. 😎🍰

                  #117750
                  Wingiby Iggiby
                  @wingiby-iggiby

                    @kimlikesart

                    Ooo! Your bad guy sounds great! And thanks for the insight! This is helping a lot 😀

                    I do wonder: how do y’all get the ideas for your villains, and what steps do you take to make them come alive?


                    @writergirl101

                    Villains need a clear goal that’s not “destroy the world”, strong conviction and resolve, and a unique spark that makes them come alive on the page.  Villains should be just like protagonists in that they have quirks, habits, loves, and hates.  It’s what makes them human.

                    Thank you! You guys are being so helpful, and I need to find time to basically write a book about this bad guy of mine! Once I get him developed enough, maybe I’ll share it with y’all.

                     

                    I know you got mountains to climb,
                    But always stay humble and kind -- Tim McGraw

                    #117752
                    Ella
                    @writergirl101

                      @wingiby-iggiby

                      Sounds good, Wingiby!

                      If something goes wrong in your life, yell "Plot twist!" and keep going. 😎🍰

                      #117755
                      Gracie
                      @kimlikesart

                        @writergirl101

                        Well, if anyone’s seen Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame,

                        I haven’t. Maybe I should? (:

                         He truly wanted to make life better for people who had nothing.

                        That said, I think villains who believe they are the heroes are the greatest and most memorable.

                        Amazing point!!

                        Villains need a clear goal that’s not “destroy the world”, strong conviction and resolve, and a unique spark that makes them come alive on the page.  Villains should be just like protagonists in that they have quirks, habits, loves, and hates.  It’s what makes them human.

                        Indeed. (: Thanks.

                        Oh shoot, that was three sentences.

                        You’re good.

                        Jominkreesa

                        Passion means to be willing to suffer.

                        #117757
                        Gracie
                        @kimlikesart

                          @wingiby-iggiby

                          How do y’all get the ideas for your villains, and what steps do you take to make them come alive?

                          Hmm. My development of ?, Carry started with an offhand thought about one of his friends dying. I asked myself where he met this friend, when, and how they met. Then it sort of spiraled from there. Not a very good answer, sorry.

                          Jominkreesa

                          Passion means to be willing to suffer.

                          #117776
                          Taylor Clogston
                          @taylorclogston

                          “…I pretty much based my character [in God’s Not Dead] off of these guys that I see who are just angry — they’re just filled with anger and hatred.” -Kevin Sorbo, who wasn’t a very good villain

                          “Once you know what people really want, you can’t hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can’t hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart.” -Ender Wiggen, Speaker for the Dead

                          Christians don’t like relating to villains. In my experience, Christians have more of a problem with this than other people. Others are more able to empathize with a person who does immoral things to achieve a supposedly good end, especially if they’re charismatic and capable.

                          Christians don’t like entering that headspace. We fear temptation and reject dangerous thoughts. We edge away from darkness.

                          This prevents us from empathizing with people who stand in the darkness. If you don’t know what drives a man to kill his brother, you had better not write a story about it. It is not enough to nod and say, “Hmm, yes, every intention of the thoughts of man’s heart is only evil continually. Indubitably.” Anyone can write a tool expressing their philosophy of sin. Lots of people do. I have to read the manuscripts of those people constantly.

                          A character is not an actual person, but you have to love a villain as though he was your brother, a person you love unconditionally. When you are full of sad, sad love for the person your villain could have been, mournful of their lost potential, hating as much as they do the choices and circumstances which brought them to this point, I think you’re connected enough to write them.

                          And as with actual family, unconditional love has its limits. Going beyond these limits might make the reader hate your villain. That’s understandable and unavoidable. You might have to turn your back on your villain. Do so with mourning, as with a brother you can never forgive.

                          We base the entire Gospel upon the doctrine that Jesus became a man, suffering every temptation and resisting them all, to become the sacrifice without blemish in the stead of sinners. When we look at darkness and have pity on those who have fallen to it, we follow Christ.

                          "...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

                          #117777
                          Zee
                          @zee

                            You know, this is slightly off-topic, but when I realized a story’s antagonist doesn’t have to be evil, or even malicious, just opposed to what your hero/heroine is trying to accomplish, it was very freeing. I realized I can write a good story, full of conflict and tension, without having to create a “villain” in the conventional sense.

                            That being said, every now and then, a solid villain is exactly what a story needs…

                            #117779
                            Gracie
                            @kimlikesart

                              @taylorclogston

                              Thank you sir.

                               

                              And thank you Mrs. @zee

                              Jominkreesa

                              Passion means to be willing to suffer.

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