Steve Edward Farley


The bad guy is an important detail to writing a good thriller or drama. Someone that the audience hates, a person who always seems one step ahead of everyone. The right villain can scare a child into having nightmares, but there is more to writing than declaring in the text that the character is the protagonist’s mortal enemy.

          To create the best villain, take a moment away from the story, look at three qualities that your protagonist has that make him unique. Then think about the opposites of those three qualities and that is the making of your villain. Adding to the natural suspense that a bad guy offers, give the villain an advantage, add a few sinister henchmen, money, and resources.

         His appearance should be unique, both tall and short villains can be scary to read. Small men can be very creepy to a reader, to think about them skulking around can send shivers down a readers spine.

        Roland pulls his tube socks up, his size five flipflops look like they could be worn by a child. His hands are stubby and his face homely. Roland wants to pick up a woman at the beach; today is the day he brings one home. With his towel wrapped around a glass bottle Roland continues walking through the parking lot. He isn’t far from the car when he spots a dog tied to a post near the bathrooms. Seeing one chair and a pink tote bag near the dog he suspects it is woman alone, he also assumes she is using the bathroom.

       Moving forward he causally walks over to the dog, no one is watching, he unclips the leash and the dog runs off toward the sound of the ocean. A minute passes.

     “Where is my dog?”

      The voice belongs to a cute woman in her twenties. She is wearing jean shorts and a blue bikini top; the small fabric patches aren’t enough to keep her massive bosom contained they seem to be popping out from all angles. Her blonde hair is inside of a ponytail.

     “Quick I saw him run into the parking lot, this way.” Roland lies, the girl runs ahead leaving her belongings. Roland follows behind, they near his van, under the towel he has a bottle of liquid, dampening the towel he feels it soaking through with chloroform.

     “I think I hear him under the van.” Roland tells her, she kneels down.

     “I don’t see-.” The girl is cut off as the towel slips around her mouth, Roland holds her as she struggles. A minute later he slides the door to his van back, his tiny hands grab the woman and push her inside. No one would ever see this woman again…  

      A villain can come in all different shades, they can be smart, dumb cruel or even kind. A kind villain really messes with the reader in a good way, they find themselves cheering for them and they know they shouldn’t. That is why it is important to make them well-rounded, they are still human beings and need to have the same foundations as all individuals, only along the way they fall off the path. The background story on the villain therefore is very important. Even if the backstory of the villain never works its way into the plot it needs to be written down.

     The background should be treated as a short story that is no longer than a chapter. Tragedy usually works to harden the character, or perhaps they grew up in a rough homelife. A Villain is also only as strong as their convictions, that is why if you look closely at villains in other works you will see that their ideology is far fetch from mainstream thinking.

     The hidden villain is a type of villain some authors write, a hidden villain is a Satan like character. He is never really seen but often mentioned, his henchmen inspire fear. An example of this is Sauron from Lord Of The Rings. He is rarely seen but has a vast influence of the environment, his forces are a never ending mist of evil.

      So in closing there are many dimensions to a Villain, it isn’t as easy as saying the person is evil. Creating one that is not just unique in description but also with natural charisma that seems to match the hero as their equal. I hope this was helpful, please check back next week.