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:
- 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!)
- 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
- 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!
- A psychopathic Villain is so cliched – make them have a PERSONALITY disorder instead
- 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?)
To sum it up, they need to have:
– 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!)
– 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!
– 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