24

One of the things I always try to do in my stories is have a believable villain. I honestly think that it’s the villains we love to hate that make some of the most successful stories.

As an example, consider Harry Potter’s Professor Umbridge. Pretty much every Harry Potter fan can agree that Umbridge was the absolute worst. Arguably more so than Voldemort.

But before she could be met with such hatred, readers had to believe she was worth the effort. She was a villain who we knew was never up to any good, but kept the excitement of the story going. I, for one, loved to hate her. She was infuriating right up to the point where I felt I connected with Harry more through our mutual dislike of her.

And without her, I think Harry Potter would have been a little less enjoyable.

Likewise, the Joker, Mr. Crowley, Darth Vader, Maleficent (until she became a heroine), Professor Moriarty, and numerous other characters have lent their exasperating sensibilities to the successes of their respective protagonist’s tale.

So this week, test the waters on writing your own believable villain. Like Umbridge, this villain doesn’t need to be the main source of tension or conflict in your story, but try to make him/her/it the kind of villain your readers will love to hate and, ideally, enable them get to know your main character even more.

It might seem like a lot to ask, but try to have fun with it. We can learn a lot from how our heroes interact with our villains, which will almost always improve both them and the story.

Happy writing and see y’all next week!

 

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