Three ways to show the complexity of your villain.
We can’t deny villains make great characters. They are bad and they look good doing it. They add fear, and tension into the story but one thing we want as writers, is for our readers to take our villain seriously.
We know these villains and they come in all shape and sizes. The charming prince, the cruel stepmother, the ruthless assassins. What these characters have in common? Personality. One has charm, the other is cruel, and the other is ruthless. These are attributes that add to their complexity.
Here are three ways to show the complexity of your villain.
Give your villain an introduction.
At the moment I’m working on a novella and I made one- pov of the gangster which is the villain in the story and villains are always fun to write. In the chapter, he introduced himself in a compelling way, whoever cheats him dies. He doesn’t mind murders but hates thieves. As a writer, you need to capture the attention to the reader and dive into the character’s head and let them dive into their inner thoughts.
Give the villain a point of view.
As I said above, giving a villain a point of view is a great way for the readers to understand why the villain is what he is. What shapes him and defines him. This step, however, doesn’t suit all books. Their pov need to fit the narrative and the plot of the story. For example, my debut In Her Words the book is written in a diary point of view and it’s told from pov of the main character so, I couldn’t add the villain pov in there.
Give him a voice.
Be careful with this step. Most villain monologues can be clichéd, but when done right you can let the reader fear them. When giving your villain a chance to talk, don’t make them sound like they are bad and trying too hard. Give them a voice like they talking about their day more or less than this is normal to them. That their desire in their own eyes is good. The reader needs to understand why they are doing what they’re doing.
Happy writing and reading xx