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Sunday, November 6, 2016

GUEST POST - How to Write Villians


 
 
 
 
The Villain’s POV

By

Kathleen Garnsey

 
Writing the villain’s point of view is one of my favorite things to do. Call it my alter ego, my hidden bad-girl, or the part of me that will never, ever be, but I love to write it. Call me weird, sick, or whatever you like, but it is fun! Why? Because I will never be that person, and I want to create the worst of the worst on the planet, or in my case other planets! My bad guys are bad---through and through bad. I have been told they should have at least one redeeming quality, but I do not agree. I like them bad to the bone, un-redeemable, the character everyone wants to hate. So, how do you do that? I will tell you.

First, you can only be in the villain’s pov when your main characters are not! That is an important point. If you have a hero/heroine in the scene, it belongs to them. The kind of scenes I’m talking about belong only to the bad guy, or killer. Now their pov will be twisted and demented since normal, good people do not murder or torture. The villain’s world (pov) is where he/she plans the murder and shows the reader how evil, and or sick they really are. Their thoughts show their true character and motivation and you will be amazed what you can do while in their head (pov).

The scene with the murder’s pov will not be as long as your other scenes, and should not be since the real story belongs to your protagonists. There have been times my villain could take the entire story over, since I have so much fun writing them, but I have to limit myself. Too much of an evil thing is too much! Now you may not have quite the demented bad guy I like to write, but the reader needs to understand what drives that character to do the things they do. We have all asked ourselves, how could he do such a thing? Well, this is your chance to show the reader why.

How does your murderer/villain treat other people in public? In private? What do they say differently when they are alone? Are they always alone? Do they have friends they use, who do not know who they really are? Does this character have friends in common with the victim(s)? These are some of the questions you can show the reader while in this pov. Use it sparingly, and use it well. Depending on the length of your book, not more than three to four short scenes. It is a great tool to enhance the mystery of your book. Now, you may say that letting the reader know what is going to happen and when will spoil the story—Alfred Hitchcock would beg to differ. His philosophy was that anticipation builds suspense to a higher level. Knowing that the killer waits in the closet at the top of the stairs makes every step your victim takes riveting.

Think about some of the movies you have seen. Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, or Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. Those two characters will scare you to the bone and beyond! But they are great examples of the real psychotic that can make your story, or take it over. I say that because you remember the bad guy more than who chased them through the entire movie, but that was the point in those movies. You do not want your character to be quite that bad, but you get my point regarding characterization.

Have fun with your characters—yes, even the evil, psychotic, twisted killer. This character is the entire reason for your story—let him/her shine in their own wickedness. Without the demented murderer there would not be a story—your hero/heroine would have nothing to do and no one would die!

Kathleen Garnsey

Born in Michigan, raised and married in California, Kathleen is now a twenty-nine year resident of Missouri. She currently lives in Ozark and stays busy with her husband of forty-nine years, her son, daughter-in-law, and three fantastic grandchildren.

Writing is Kathleen's passion, which she became serious about in 1987 when she joined Ozarks Romance Authors. Always a fan of sci-fi and romance, she loves combining the two elements into stories of passion and adventure in another time and place. She has written five futuristic romances which are available, or soon to be available on Amazon. Look for her past titles: Warrior's Link, Hawk's Redemption, Falcon's Quest and Secret of the Kiah. She just completed The Alluring Traveler which will soon be released
 

5 comments:

Tierney James said...

I loved reading this information. Sleuths' Ink has some incredible talent. Thanks for helping me with the character everyone loves to hate.

Susan Keene said...

I learned a lot reading your blog. Thanks for writing and sharing.
Susan

Angela Drake said...

Great information. Perfect timing as I determine how to work with a serial killer. Definitely a bad guy. Creative Blessings! ~Angela

Shirley said...

I tried to post on my ipad, but for some reason that doesn't always work. Lots of great info here, Kathy. Need to keep it for reference. Maybe you should write a how-to book?

Patsy said...

I like writing bad guys too. I think knowing I'm in control is part of the appeal.