How to Craft Effective Villains for Fantasy Fiction?
Characters are an important element of a story. No story will ever progress when it does not have any character in it. Heroes, particularly, are the revered characters of most stories. They are the kind, strong, and smart characters who will brave any challenge and difficulty just to achieve their goals, which are, more often than not, for the good of all.
As equally important as the heroes, however, are the villains. A story that only has heroes and lacks villains has the tendency to be monotonous and dull. In fantasy fiction, particularly, villains are extremely essential. Villains spice up the story. They create the conflict that makes the story progress, and they also bring out the best in the heroes.
In order for villains to be truly effective, however, authors need to consider numerous things when crafting them. Great villains usually possess common traits that set them apart from the badly written ones. These essential traits of an effective fantasy fiction villain are the keys to creating a compelling and dynamic fantasy fiction story.
If you are an aspiring author who wishes to create a fantasy fiction story with great heroes and interesting villains, then this article may help you in doing so. Below are some pieces of advice on how to craft effective villains to make your fantasy fiction story more amazing.
Make your villains believable and convincing
When writing fictional characters, you need to keep in mind that they have to be as believable and convincing as possible. This is ultimately important so as to avoid creating boring and flat characters, which are plain cardboard cutouts. Every character in your story should be relatable. The situations of your characters should be a reflection of real-life situations. Their actions, thoughts, and motivations should also reflective of what is going to happen in real life.
Villains and heroes should have the same, equal attention when you write your story. These two are essential in building your narrative. There is no progress in your story when you leave one of them behind. While your heroes are the main stars of your story, you should not forget to invest some time and effort in establishing your villains. To make your villains believable and convincing, dedicated a number of pages in your book to telling your readers about the actions and motivations of your villains. Allow your readers to know and understand where your villains are coming from. What could have happened in their past that led them to the way they are now? What is the truth behind their actions? – these are some of the questions that you need to consider in creating your villains.
Become one with your characters
Usually, authors tend to portray themselves as the heroes of their story. However, it should be understood that villains, too, are part of the story. They are also characters, which are relevant in your fantasy fiction narrative. For this reason, it is important that while writing your characters, you should aim to put yourself in the shoes of both your heroes and your villains. Try to become like them. Think of the possible things that you may do when you are confronted with the same challenges as them.
When portraying yourself as your heroes, you tend to automatically think of good deeds, positive thoughts, and unrivaled strength. However, things are totally different when you portray yourself as your villains. You tend to think of darkness, revenge, and negativities, which are also pretty interesting too. Just remember, however, that in portraying your characters, whether they are heroes or villains, everything must still be taken from a real context. Your fantasy fiction story should not be absolutely detached from reality.
Craft worthy opponents
Your villains should be written with the same time and effort that takes you to write your heroes. Both your heroes and your villains are absolutely relevant to the outcome of your story. To write a great fantasy fiction story, do not just focus on your heroes. Think about your villains too. Your heroes and villains should be like the elements of the Yin and Yang (cultural Chinese concept). Your heroes are the Yin, which refers to life, affirmation, and light; while your villains are the Yang, which means they embody darkness, negativity, and death. Heroes and villains, just like yin and yang, are two different sets of opposing characters, but they actually pretty much complement each other.
So, when crafting your villains, make sure to give yourself enough time to think, imagine, and create. Make worthy opponents, do not rush your villains. Give your villains enough time to develop the essential traits of an effective fantasy fiction villain. Remember, your villains are necessary characters because they bring out the best in your heroes, and they make your story quite interesting.