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There aren’t enough credible female villains. They are usually overshadowed by their male counterparts. Think: The White Witch (Narnia),  Veruca Salt (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Annie Wilkes (Misery), Abigail (The Crucible) then realise that there needs to be more!

So, here’s a quick guide to creating a bad-ass female character that your readers will not forget in a hurry:

  1. Villains need POSITIVE traits too – make sure you include these (Think: Annie Wilks who loved collecting, or the White Witch who loved handing out Turkish Delight!)
  2.  Remember that a Villain that has a positive trait makes the reader CONNECT with them, to EMPHASISE with their back story, making them fully formed as characters
  3. Study other Villains, and that means read, read, and read! Try to turn a WELL-KNOWN male hero into a female villain – there are endless possibilities!
  4. A psychopathic Villain is so cliched – make them have a PERSONALITY disorder instead
  5. Give you Villain CORE VALUES, and stick to them! They need to have INTEGRITY in their beliefs that make them more believable (This is where a back story helps: why are they bad in the first place?)
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To sum it up, they need to have:

Authenticity:

– Your villain needs to do exactly what they say they will! So, if your wicked fairy queen says she will turn your hero to stone – let her! It adds ACTION, allowing your hero to extract themselves out of it (or can even produce another hero!)

Believablity:

– Play on the real-life fears  readers have about females being meek, mild, sensitive and loving, and go the OPPOSITE to that. Make them devious and powerful, cunning but charming, intellectual but crazy!

Expertise:

– Villains need to challenge heroes. If they are experts at something, then play on it. Your heroes will have a hard time defeating them. This produces conflict between protagonist and antagonist thus driving the PLOT.

Have a great writing week!

#writing #creativity #femalecharacters #villainsandheroes #plot #writerslife

 

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