Make Your Own Super Villain
To flesh out the villain character, the following issues may need addressing:
Allowing the subconscious to draw upon stereotypes or stereotypical characteristics during the character conception stage. Examples might be that the baddie has a deep scar on his cheek, has a penchant for graveyards or wears a long trench coat. Such characteristics may have been sourced from real life notorious criminals or fictional villains from classic novels.
Not creating contrast between characters in the story. This does not just mean in “good” or “bad,” but in the body language, the dialogue used or the past the counterparts have inhabited. In this respect, black appears blacker next to white.
An audio sample of my book the Shuttered Room: a kidnapper locks a hostage in the loft. An unsavory deed, but his insecurities are revealed later in the novel.
Not giving the villain a past or a childhood is a big mistake, and will make the actions and motives of the character unconvincing. Creating a character profile questionnaire will flesh out the villain. This may involve inventing a family background, educational history, nicknames, language used, clothes sense, disabilities or eye colour, (even if some of these details are left out of the novel). These strategies will make the villain appear real in the author’s mind during the writing.
Creative Writing Tips for Crime Writing
Making the villain’s thought processes rational given his or her past is a gift. Instilling sympathy for a baddie within the reader will make the villain more disturbing and might spur the reader ask questions about themselves and about why people do the things they do.
No one is totally good or totally bad. Give the villain some redeeming features that will make the villain more rounded. A villain that does nothing but bad things or thinks bad thoughts may make the baddie appear flat rather than three dimensional, and instill apathy within the reader.
In this excerpt in my blog novel, Nora, the heroine, Nancy actually behaves villainous. However, she behaves this way because of a past trauma, as can be seen in this scene describing displaced anger. Here, she deprives a cripple one of his crutches because she thinks he has betrayed her.
Crime Writing Solutions
Links to Further Advice on Crime Writing