What makes a good villain?

The villain – don’t underestimate your baddie.

The baddie has to be just as developed as your good guy or gal. They require good and bad points and a way for your reader to identify with them.

Yes, readers do need to have some sort of love for your villain. I’ve skimmed through loads of books when the villain is on stage, because they just don’t appear real.

They need some good motivation for being evil. Did they lose the girl to their best friend? Did their best friend bully them and now they are getting their own back? Were they abused as a child and that’s all they know? Got into the wrong crowd? There are lots of reasons.

Add in a description. Give your readers a way of imaging them. Maybe not a full description but enough to wet their taste buds.

Give them the past your have come up with. Not all in one go – all that narrative can turn a reader off, but in bits and bobs where required. Have they abducted someone? Add in some memories why. Have they killed someone? Again, get some thoughts running through their heads. A person rarely kills without something in his mind.

You might even give them a love interest.

Above all else, most baddies I come across have something in common with the hero. A shared past or partner. Same upbringing – hero comes out better then them. There’s the jealousy.

In a twist, you might start with a hero who turns evil. Or the villain becomes the good guy. Play around and give your readers a hook.

Most baddies aren’t stupid. They are more clever than anyone takes them for. That’s why they get away with things. They make your hero look good.

So, go and plan out your bad guy or gal. Make them lovable. Make them cry out for attention. Give them a backstory your readers are dying for.