Tag Archives | Villains

Tips for Creating an Ensemble Cast of Characters

One of my favorite movies is The Breakfast Club, John Hughes’s 1980s classic that imagines a day in the life of five students from various cliques within an American high school who are forced to spend a Saturday suffering through detention together.  The film’s message centers on the superficial differences between the characters, and how those differences mask the fact that the kids have more in common than they think. The film succeeds because it […]

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Villains Who Would Make Great Protagonists

I love, love, love a good dark character. I think most people do. There’s a reason why some of the show-stealing characters in our favorite stories tend to be the shadowy ones. However, there’s also a reason why most of these folks tend to not be the protagonist: even with complex character development, it is simply not easy to relate to a baddie. In general, we need to be inside the mind of the one […]

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The Bad Girls Club: Female Villains

As much as I enjoyed the Catwoman of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, I couldn’t help but notice that, unlike most of the bad guys in Nolan’s Batverse, she wasn’t particularly scary. Admittedly, Catwoman isn’t really a villainess. She’s an adversary, and occasionally, a reluctant ally. (For more on Catwoman’s backstory and the Kitty Conundrum, see here.) But Nolan specializes in endowing superhero situations with genuine danger and edge, so I hoped that an […]

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Thoughts on Villains

Out of all the characters that exist in a story, antagonists are the most difficult for me to get right. Too often, I find myself in danger of falling into the trap of writing an antagonist that is too obviously bad, usually to the point where the character just falls flat and becomes a 2D character. I did this a LOT during my early writing days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a […]

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Creating the Perfect Foil

“Whenever I marry,” she continued after a pause which none interrupted, “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me.” —Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Ask a friend to tell you about the last book she read that made a big impression on her, and chances are she will tell you about the characters. If I think about my own favorite books, the characters are what come to mind […]

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