V is for Villains


I try to give both my heroes and villains an emotional dimensionality which provides the motivation for their actions. ~Sidney Sheldon

It’s always a challenge to create believable villains as a counterpoint to your protagonist. Villains can’t be over the top, moustache twisting, maniacal laughing, psychopaths without justifying how the character got there. Or can they?


Heath Ledger’s The Joker from The Dark Knight comes to mind as one example of a villain who is all of those things, yet it still works as a believable character. He’s single minded, has no regard for anyone but himself, is unstoppable.

A good villain should be motivated, driven, focused. Villains aren’t afraid to reach for their ‘dreams’, no matter how big or how small. Take this guy. Obsessed with eliminating the Rebels, he built a Death Star not once but twice!


A good villain should command respect or at least fear from your minions and foes alike, whether you employ the occasional force choke to achieve it or whether you have to eat your foes.


What are some of your favourite fictional villains? What makes them great characters?