Villains

Storytelling

Crafting a Redemption Arc for Your Villain

Character change brings a lot to our stories, but the more dramatic the change, the harder it is to craft. That’s why arcs that transition characters between good and evil are some of the most difficult but also the most rewarding. Previously, I’ve covered arcs … read more »

Storytelling

Five Tropes That Make a Villain Look Incompetent

Villainy is a profession loaded with tropes. From the evil speech to the climactic duel against the hero, villainous behavior has been tweaked and refined through the ages. Unfortunately, some of these tropes make the villain look incompetent. They invoke eye-rolling from the audience and destroy tension in the … read more »

Podcast

122 – Redeeming a Villain

The Mythcreant Podcast

Everyone loves a villain. Sometimes we love villains so much we want them to be heroes. But how best to redeem them? Should they even be redeemed? Join us this week for a discussion on what goes into flipping a character from team bad to … read more »

Podcast

115 – Surprise Villains

The Mythcreant Podcast

Which one of the hosts will turn out to be evil this week? Surprise, none of us are villains! Or perhaps we all are, since we threw in spoilers for Shield and Child of Light without any warning. How rude. This week, we talk about … read more »

Storytelling

How to Realistically Depict Evil

Darth Vader and Luke from Empire Strikes Back

Evil is a difficult subject for storytellers. The over saturation of works like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, where evil celebrates itself with cartoonish glee, has caused many storytellers to eschew the idea of true evil in their work. Shades of grey* seem … read more »

Podcast

94 – Heroes With Evil Reflections

The Mythcreant Podcast

Since we’re discussing heroes with dark counterparts, we brought on a new guest host: Graham, who is basically evil Oren. With our evil new co-host, we discuss all the ways in which a villain can be used to show us the darker side of a hero, and … read more »

Storytelling

Creating Your Villain’s Journey

The Operative from Serenity holding up his sword

Most character arcs are intended for protagonists, and viewpoint characters in particular. But a story can be greatly enhanced by giving arcs to other major characters – including the main villain. Unfortunately, villain arcs can be tricky. The audience rarely sympathizes with the big bad, … read more »

Podcast

76 – Characters Who Switch Sides

The Mythcreant Podcast

Writers really love turning their characters from evil to good or from good to evil, so it must be easy, right? Not according to the nerds hosting this podcast. Listen as they debate which transitions worked well, which ones didn’t, and talk a lot about Zuko. Mostly … read more »

Podcast

72 – Escalation

The Mythcreant Podcast

It’s a basic rule of storytelling: the stakes get higher as the story goes forward. But how do you do that? How do you know what’s good escalation and what’s just skipping all the necessary build up? What should you do when you’ve escalated as far as … read more »

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