To Love Them or Hate Them? How to Make Your Own Villains
From the very beginning, comics served as a fantastic way to tell age-old stories of good's triumph over evil. But if it wasn't for interesting villains, comics wouldn't be what they are today.
Now, villains are so popular that they're getting their own TV and movie franchises.
It's clear people love to root for a good bad guy, so creating your own villain can be a fun exercise.
But don't take our word for it. See for yourself. Here are few tips on how to make your own villains to cause chaos in your own super stories.
Craft a Compelling Backstory
Truth be told, heroes and villains aren't all that different. Their journies often start on similar paths. You may even want to give your villain a direct connection to your hero.
If you're struggling to come up with something, there's no shame in turning to common tropes.
Accidents in science labs, tragic family deaths, and societal wrongings may not be new, but they provide a point of reference. From there, you can add detail to your villain's story to make it your own.
Provide Proper Motivation
Next, decide what your villain wants. This can be difficult, so try seeing things from your villain's point of view.
The funny thing about villains is they rarely see themselves as the bad guys of the story. They feel that the ends justify the means, even if it means sacrificing a few people or planets along the way.
Dr. Donald Warren is a great example. He's intelligent, creative, and for the most part, nice and polite. That's why he isn't afraid to hide his motivations.
Since Dr. Warren thinks his actions are just, there was no reason to act in secrecy or hide his kidnapping of Stanley Ross.
Within all good villains lies a kernel of justice. Evil for evil's sake can be fun, but it doesn't create well-written characters.
Choose the Right Powers
A good backstory isn't enough to make your audience love (or hate) your villain. To make your new character one worth remembering, they should be able to put up a fight against even the mightiest of superheroes.
The trick is to reverse engineer your hero and work from there. A super villain's powers should counteract the hero's abilities.
Say you're working with a character who can control fire. A common counter may be fire or ice.
This counter doesn't necessarily make the villain stronger than your hero, either. Often, villains are stronger on paper but fail due to their own hubris or lack of planning.
Design Their Look
Great villains look the part. Give your antagonists a look that complements their powers.
Use color psychology to help design your villain's costume. Darker colors will automatically let your audience know they're seeing the bad guy, even if your villain doesn't say a word
It's Good to be Bad: How to Make Your Own Villains
When you make your own villains, you're not just making a foil for your main character. You're creating a better, more interesting story. Use these tips to help you create a villain your readers will love to hate.
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