Likeable Characters

There are a lot of potential pitfalls when creating a character, things that could stop your audience from truly taking to them. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally create a character who readers see as irritating or boring or useless, or any number of negative things.

But far and away the biggest mistake you can make when writing a character – at least in my opinion – is when you manage to make someone whose supposed to be a good person actively dislikeable. I’m quite forgiving of clumsy characterisation, I can deal with protagonists that annoy me, or don’t seem to have any interests, and even those that barely seem to do anything, just so long as they come across as a fundamentally good person. I’m not saying those other characterisation issues don’t matter, I just don’t think they’re as big a problem as characters who just seem like bad people when they’re not meant to.

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I’ve been meaning to update this blog more often, but I have been failing. I wanted to get a writing post up before I did another photo post. Keep some kind of balance. So here’s my musings on one of the biggest elements of almost any story; the villain. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how much sense I’m making, but I think the various points are coming across.

When writing a villain, there’s different things to consider, and I’m just going over a few of them here.

First off, the most important thing for any villain; a motive. I admit I have been guilty of writing a villain who’s just sort of evil because they are, and then throwing in something like ‘oh, uh… they want money’ when I realise they have no motive. But you can’t really do that, because the character’s motive affects how they act. If you look back on a story, and think about it from the villain’s point of view, everything should make sense. Sometimes you think of something that seems like it would be a cool thing or a good way of showing the villain’s villainy, but then you think back on it and realise that it actually in no way helps them achieve their goals, and, sometimes, actively hinders it. So you really need to have their motive clear in your mind from the beginning. Or be willing to go back and do some serious redrafting, whichever way you prefer. But everything should be logical in the finished product, at least if your villain is supposed to be behaving logically.

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