Happy July, or happy #CampNaNoWriMo! We’re kicking off the month by exploring different ways to improve your writing.
Oftentimes, plausible female villains are overshadowed by their male counterparts. Here are 9 ways to improve your story and make your characters believably bad to the bone:
- As always, read other stories about villains, male or female, to pick up on how others have successfully (or unsuccessfully) crafted their villains.
- Give her positive traits.
- Villains need core values, whether they’re good or bad, and need to stick to them.
- Don’t do the ‘psychopathic villain’: it’s overused. So are villains with Borderline Personality Disorder.
- Make your villain love something: the reader will empathize with them and be drawn in to the story.
- Your villain needs to believe that they’re good. It doesn’t matter that everyone else thinks they’re bad: this belief gives them integrity when they fight for their beliefs.
- She needs to be an expert at something. Villains challenge heroes — if your villain is an expert, then your hero will have a hard time defeating them, producing conflict and driving the plot.
- Give her a realistic backstory that led her to her villainy. Villains, as do heroes, have a story to tell.
- Have her do exactly what she says she will. Kill off another character or torture your protagonist: this will give your villain authenticity.
Who are your favorite female villains?