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Villains and Enemies - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Villains and Enemies
Audiences may pay closer attention to a villain's pain, to see if he's down for the count or might make a comeback.  That's a clue for writers to describe it precisely, without skimping on important details.

There are complex reasons for hating villains.  Cruel, malicious, callous, and/or evil acts cost them audience sympathy.  There is a spectrum.  Some are iconic evil, like Sauron.  Some are logistical evil, like Hitler.  Some are not evil, but are assholes.  Some are just in the way.  There are anti-heroes who commit horrible acts too, and there's a fine line where audiences will tolerate this or decide that it's gone too far.  It's interesting to see where that falls for different readers or characters.  That's because some heroes fall from grace, and some villains choose to stop doing evil things.  People can move  along that spectrum.  It's another thing that keeps people watching.  So clue your readers whether a given character has mobility there or not.

Friends can turn on each other, with or without reason, sometimes clued in obvious ways.  Try to think of new ones.  Subtle foreshadowing combined with a good twist is terrific.

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