On Villainy

The seven deadly sins are Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth.

For your villains, pick any two. For your heros, pick one.

The seven splendid virtues are Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, Faith, Hope, and Charity.

For your heros, pick any two. For your villains, pick one.

Dr. Doyle's Blog

I’ve written here before about the necessity — in my opinion — of making one’s villains well-rounded characters and not merely evil mustache-twirling sockpuppets. By which I mean granting them their virtues as well as their vices, and giving them friends as well as enemies, and generally treating them with a certain amount of respect even as they go forth to meet their richly deserved ends at the hands of the protagonist of the tale.

I don’t know if what I’m encountering a lot of lately is the start of a disturbing new trend, or just the result of seeing a lot of plain old-fashioned bad writing and worse criticism . . . but readers and writers both seem to be getting more into villains who are evil all the way through, from the flaky top crust of their characterization down to the soggy underbaked bottom. Anything in the line…

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