Stephanie Bourbon on Creating Cool Villains

LB’S NOTE: One of our fave TV writers-illustrators-screenwriters-vloggers, Stephanie Bourbon, reminds us of the importance of having great villains in our stories and how to create them.


by Stephanie Bourbon

I love me some villains, well the good ones, the well written, well thought out villains who are bad for a reason. Now, that reason probably doesn’t make much sense to you and me because we are not villains but to them it is their WHY!

In Lisa Cron’s craft book on writingWIRED FOR STORY, she talks about your character’s misbelief and how this shapes everything they do in the story. This is NOT the same as the flaw they have. 

For example a flaw may be that they gossip, or talk too much, or are self-centered, or argue about every little thing, or they bite their nails, or they are defensive—etc–these are character flaws but they aren’t WHO the character is, just what they do.

WHO the character is goes way back to when something happened that created a misbelief for them. That misbelief is holding them back in some way.

Maybe it’s that no one will ever love them, they aren’t worthy, they will never be enough so they act based on that.

Go get the book, Lisa explains it amazingly.

NOW, back to our bad guy!! WHY is he that way…? 

Read it all at stephaniebourbon.com