Making memorable characters is one of the hardest parts of writing a good story. From a compelling hero to a believable mentor character, it’s ironic that a lot of thought is put into making your characters as realistic and effortless as possible. One of the hardest archetypes to portray is the villain, however. With so many classic tropes to pick from it’s hard to write anything that feels authentic but I think it’s important to learn from the tried and true. One of the most notorious literary villains is Dracula. Written by Bram Stoker in the 1890’s, the Transylvanian bloodsucker has captivated the writer’s mind and started a still very active trend of vampires in modern media.
Relatable Aspirations Make them justify their goals. Even if the reader does not agree, they need valid and understandable motivations.
“I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air.” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula
Empathize Their Situation Vulnerability of the powerful makes it easier for readers to sympathize with them.
“I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula
Create an Aura of Mystery Make them want to learn more. It’s easy to simply dislike someone for being “bad” leave enough there so the reader eagerly follows the breadcrumbs of your villain’s backstory.
“Remember my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker” ― Bram Stoker
Try writing a villain that everyone will love or a hero that no one will like.