Monday, July 14, 2014

Villain of the Month: A Character Development Worksheet for Writing Villains






While generic character templates are nice, here is one specifically designed to help you get to know your villain better in 12 easy steps.


1. Character's name:_______________________ Why? Connotation? Symbolism of that name? Does your character have a name we learn right away or is he/she defined by title only when first introduced? Lack of a name (title only) is dehumanizing.

2. Is your villain a sociopath? Does he/she feel remorse when he/she hurts others? If a sociopath, how has that affected him/her in the past? What lessons has he/she learned from childhood on to help him/her cope in a world that feels more? What incidents made him/her learn those lessons? 

3. If your villain is not a sociopath, why is he/she a villain? Bitterness? Misguided idealism? Pride? Love of money/power? Specific weakness? Was there a single inciting incident or was the character led to villainy through a series of smaller choices? What were the choices/incident(s)?

4. Who is your villain's role model? Why? When did he/she discover this figure? What is it about the figure he/she so admires?

5. Who in the world does your role model care about the most besides him/herself? What is the bond between these two figures?

6. What could turn your character good? If x happened, things would be different... What is x, and why would that change things?

7. What is most admirable about your villain? 

8. What is most despicable about your villain?

9. What song was playing on the radio when your villain had his/her first kiss? Who was it with? What happened?

10. What secret quirks does your villain have that he/she definitely does not want people to know about, even though they are not particularly villainous.

11. What brand of jeans does your villain wear?

12. If on death row, what would be your villain's last meal order? Last words?

Bonus question (if you dare): In what ways is your villain most like you? Why do you think you chose that attribute of yourself to give to a villain?

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