character development

How to write a villain. What role does he play? He is your antagonist, your protagonist's main threat to reaching her goals. He stands in her way, creates conflicts, and forces her to make tough choices.

Character Development – How to write a Villain

Today’s post looks deep into the skill of how to write a villain.

Your story contains many elements that are critical: a main character, a plot, settings, etc. One of the most important is the villain or the antagonist. He adds depth and flavor to your story, more so than any other secondary character.

Who is your villain? Your villain is your antagonist, your protagonist’s main threat to reaching her goals. He stands in her way, creates conflicts, and forces her to make tough choices that tests her and ultimately makes her stronger.Click To Tweet

Let’s dig deep into how to write a villain.

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Your Character’s Appearance

How do you introduce your character's appearance?

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

How do you introduce your character’s appearance? What’s the right way to let your reader know what your character looks like? Have her catch her reflection in a mirror?

“Cynthia brushed her flowing blonde hair and wondered if her eyes were more blue-green or green-blue.”

Ah, no. The old look in a mirror is a terrible way to relay your character’s appearance to your readers.

Character appearance is more than how they look. Will your reader remember the color of your character’s eyes? Probably not. What he will remember is the way he hunches because he’s self-conscious of his height. Or how she sits poker-straight because her granny drilled her in proper posture.

How your character looks is more than her hair or eye color. It defines their personality and how they feel about themselves. A character’s appearance shows their interests, social status, emotions, self-esteem, and how they react to the world about them. Their appearance deepens their world and enhances their personality.

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What to name your fictional character

What to name your fictional character

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

One of the problems (and there are many) a writer faces is what to name your fictional character. A small minority (I don’t know of any) pick a random name and go with it. Others agonize, change, switch and procrastinate until they find the perfect name.

Personally, I don’t think there is a perfect name. Are you happy with your name? Most of us aren’t, yet I’ll bet our parents discussed it more than once. You, like most of us, grew into your name. I can’t imagine my life as a Bobbi Jo, one of the names my mother picked, but I’m comfortable as a Cheryl.

The best thing we can do is find a name that we’re comfortable with, that fits the genre, setting, historical content of the story and defines how the character looks, talks, and acts. Not hard, right?

What a character name should do

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