The Villain Test (part 2)

Unfortunately this will be a short post due to finals (but hey, quality over quantity, right?). And check out part one of The Villain Test here, if you haven't already. 

We all know villains can be awesome. (Because they can be. (Seriously. Villains are cool.)) Unfortunately they're usually not used to their full potential, hence my brilliant (ok, maybe not brilliant, but whatever) Villain Test. Part one was that all villains probably shouldn't be all the same. What is part two, you ask? (I'm glad you were wondering.)

If you couldn't write your story from your villain's point of view, then something's wrong. 

It makes sense, doesn't it? If you can't write your story from their point of view and make it half decent then your villain is probably thin. Granted, it wouldn't have to be amazing because you tend to (and should) make your main character more developed than anyone else, but still. 

If your antagonist failed the Villain Test, then it's time to discover them as a character, not as "the bad guy". Even if you're going with the Joker-like "pure evil" slant, you still need to understand them as a character. Would the Joker be as effective if he sat in a chair and repeated "I like hurting people because I do", or if he told the police officer why he liked killing people with knives? 

In my opinion, characters aren't villains because they sit in a scary lair and have a big weapon and want to kill people. Bad guys can only truly become a villain if we see ourselves in their reflection, if we can recognize humanity's worse in ourselves through them.

Who is your favourite villain? Which villain can you not stand? Do your villains pass or fail the villain test? 


  1. I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH. I've always tried to make my villains the main characters in their own story, so to speak, so I think we're already on the same page. But this is a lovely reminder of why I love writing them so much and why I enjoy making them more real and relatable and three dimensional. :)

  2. Thank you! Villains are the heroes of their own story, and I think it's super important to remember that. (Especially when I forget my own advice.) And villains are SO much fun to write :) Thanks for commenting!


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