I read a great blog by RITA nominee Shannon Donnelly – 5 Quick Fixes to Make Readers Love Your Villains. Shannon made it sound so simple. When I took a close look at her post I realized all her suggestions demonstrate the hero’s humanity.
- What does the character’s mother love about him?
- What does this character love?
- Why does this character do bad things?
- What would make this character a hero?
- Give the villain a trait you’d love to have.
I get it!
I'm working through my edits on my new story, working title Mine Forever, with Denise, my editor. Throughout the story I've portrayed my villain as a totally bad guy- Snidely Whiplash. However, the more I thought about some of Denise's comments and Shannon's post I clearly see if I give him some humanity even a streak of goodness it will create more conflict and a more powerful character.
Bravo to Shannon Donnelly for putting into words what I was struggling to achieve and for giving me one more outstanding tool for my author tool kit. Her workable questions produced answers that moved my villain from cliche to credible.
Who is your favorite villain? What tools do you use to write your villain?