Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Villains Are People, Too

One of the earlier bits of advice I was given when I began writing was to remember that the villains have goals and dreams, too, and that the best villains don't necessarily see themselves as evil. Some advice tells you to put yourself in your villains' heads and see if they don't actually think they are the heroic ones.

I agree with this, to a certain extent, anyway. My villains certainly have their goals and dreams clearly defined -- usually better than my heroes do. But I can't say that my villains consider themselves good guys, or even think that their motivations are pure. Most of my villains know they aren't the good guys.

My villains tend to be practical. The "if I get rid of this and that person and move this money here, I rule the entire country" kind of folks. They know they aren't "good" but they're also unapologetic for being bad. It's just good business.

My heroes, by contrast, seem less methodical. Not that I write haphazard or accidental heroes. I write antiheroes more frequently than accidental ones. But my heroes are usually struggling with moral and life issues, whereas my villains are more content.

I'm pretty content in my life, with clearly defined goals and dreams. I wonder if that makes me a villain?

All the best,
C.W. Walker

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1 Comments:

Anonymous WKEverhart said...

Villainy is subjective. Maybe your villians' goals and desires are a little off the beaten track. Maybe they know they're doing bad things, but with that goal in mind, maybe they think they're doing bad things for the right reasons. As for your personal quest to determine your own villiany, I wouldn't worry about it. We're all villians at least once in our lives.

March 23, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

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