Thursday, April 24, 2014

V is for Villian

V is for Villian

Love her or hate her, J K Rowling can write a villain.  Imagine the teacher who always had it in for you, the one who was quickest to point out how stupid you were and slowest to see the faults of others. Now put that teacher in a greasy black wig and a long black dress and give him the power to do black magic and you have Professor Snape! But some people struggle making the villain believable.

So how can you write in a way to make sure your reader dislikes a character?

  • Make your character do something nasty, for younger children it could be something as simple as being unkind to an animal.
  • Let your character get caught doing something untrustworthy. He could be unreliable.
  • Hopefully your reader already likes your main character. So let you villain speak harshly to your hero.
  • If you don't want your villain to be sarcastic, give them no humour at all.
  • Most people hate hypocrites.
  • Is he a backstabber? Should he be?
  • Other negative characteristics include; know it alls, smart-alec's, and thugs.
It may be a good idea to do a bit of research. Which characters did you dislike? Go back to those books and see how the writer breathed life into them.

Good luck - Wa Ha Ha (evil laugh)


  1. Some helpful ideas about Villains, and the simple things about their character which can make all the difference to plot. It's a great post, thank you!

  2. Mind you, I have a soft spot for a really good villian. Sometimes a bigger one than for the hero. Which possibly makes me a sick puppy.

  3. There are villains that you love to hate and then villains that you can't stand. I think both are a nice read and must take a lot of thought to create. Great tips for today. =)

    LittleCely's Blog

  4. Great points on writing villains. I'm the type that likes the villain sometimes as much as the hero.
    New Follower here, Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

  5. One of the fun things about writing for kids is being able to make villains who don't have a lot of subtlety. Adult fiction usually requires acknowledging that humans are a mixed bag. Kids' books, especially funny ones, leave more room for fun :)
    Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian

  6. Hypocrisy is one of the worst traits in a person for me, so if I want folks to really hate my villain, I'll consider making him or her two-faced. You make some other good points too (taking note),
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

  7. I was actually just talking about J.K. Rowling's ability to write an amazing villain...specifically Dolores Umbridge. She's just plain awful. Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

  8. I do love a good villain! Snape is certainly one we love to hate. He borders on cliche but it still works...

  9. George RR Martin. Oh my, can he write them. :-) Good post. It is important to write villainous qualities that strike a chord with readers. Yet it's good to add a bit of chink in the villain's armor, to give them something we all can relate to. :-)

    Good post! Good luck on your writing goal (great blog name)!

  10. I like when you are able to have a love/hate relationship with the villain... Thank you for stopping by my blog... Visiting via the A to Z challenge... :)

  11. Not to poke the bear... but (spoiler alert) Snape isn't a villain. (Middle name of... a certain briefly mentioned son... I'll phrase it that way... is proof.)

    Still, a great post and some excellent posts.

    Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
    @JLenniDorner of Team Snape (Team Snape? Is that a thing? Guess it is now!)