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 How To Write A Great Villain

The most crucial character in a story after the hero is the villain. The villain is the one who brings out the heroics in the hero. It is the villain that makes or breaks a hero. Even if every character in the story is well done, but the villain is one-dimensional, it will fall flat. The villain needs the same consideration as the main character of the story. So here are a few points for you to craft an unforgettable villain.


Often, the villains are bad for the sake of being bad. They have roaring laughter and crazy smiles. They can be much more than that. If they are bad, give them a reason to be bad. This reason could be anything - from jealousy toward the main lead or the hatred of the unjust in the world. The villain is sure that he is right and his ways are righteous. It creates angst that readers love. A villain with a purpose makes much more impact. 

Be the villain:

Now, being the villain does not mean going to rob a bank. It means to tap into your dark side. Remember the time you wanted to go ballistic but stopped. The broken heart or trust which you had to let go. The boiling jealousy you felt after someone got what you wanted. Bring out the anger and motivation, and channel it into the villain. Give them an unbridled human rage. And make them human. 

A compelling backstory:

Give the villain a compelling backstory and write about the things they went through. The backstory will make their motivation clear to the reader. It will show their thought process and give the reason for their motivation. It helps the reader to be interested in their journey. It forces them to sympathize. And, when the villain starts chaos, it will create an angsty reading experience. 

Add personality:

This, possibly, is the crucial part of crafting a villain. Writers often make a villain one-dimensional. They only exist to wreak havoc in the hero’s life. Give your villain quirks and habits. Give them the people they love. A villain who kills people left and right loves their family to death. It will make the villain more haunting as readers will see his humanness. They will realize that anyone can be the villain of someone’s story, and it makes an impact. 

A worthy opponent:

A weak villain kills the story. You might remember the stories in which the villains are overpowered but lose in a single battle - it lowers the quality of the story. Make the villain equal to the hero. If the protagonist is physically powerful, make the villain his biggest opponent physically. If the hero is mentally superior, make the villain smarter. The equality in strength makes the fights much more fun. 

Writing a villain is not hard if the above points are considered. Give them an exceptional introduction, make them flamboyant, make them human, and make them vile. People love to hate a villain who shows the dark side of humanity.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Manik Chaturmutha