Writing your Villain’s POV

Some people write a believable villain’s point of view, other struggle with it. This is far from the only way, and it isn’t even the one I have used often. Since villains are more often men, I will say he, but you can apply the same to women in most cases.

When writing his point of view, his actions are always justified. For example, a vampire might look on the human race as an evil destroying the planet. Anything at all he does to any human at all is only justice. He doesn’t “feel” that his actions are evil. To him, all people are evil, and he will punish each that he can get away with as much as he can, just for being human. Here you have a true villain able to justify every pain he inflicts as only justice.

He doesn’t have to be a vampire or other supernatural creature to view all people as evil and to feel completely justified in harming them. Nor does he need to look at all people as evil, just certain types. The rabid Nazi is an excellent example of this. They can be utterly devoted family men, or noble in every way except for their view that Jews. To the fanatic, the Jewish belief that they are gods chosen, and therefore better than everyone else are a danger that no country can tolerate and any means to rid society of them is justified. You can substitute nearly any fanatical ideology for either Nazi or Jew and get villains that are very human and likeable but take vile actions. Even cat lovers torturing dog lovers become possible realistic villains for you to write.

But seeing others as evil isn’t the only true villain. Many robber-murders operate on the premise that others were given opportunities denied to them, and stealing from, and/or killing them only balances the scales. Every opportunity that those better off than he has that he doesn’t have access to only proves his point. The better you are doing than he and his friend and family, the more justified he is in plotting not only your downfall but that of your entire family. When writing his point of view, every action to further that goal is furthering justice.

The aristocrat preying on the poor is another good villain to write. To many of them, those poor are only alive because the aristocrats have been keeping them alive. That city belongs to the aristocrats. The poor are either the livestock that they are raising, or the unwanted rats that have moved in. If you don’t control that livestock and it goes feral, it will destroy your city. If you don’t control the rat population, it will overrun you and destroy everything. From their point of view, everything done is noble and just, because it protects family, friends and the city. This kind can even be very charitable, as they see it as keeping the livestock in perfect health. Writing their POV into your story, they are fulfilling their duty to family and city.

Rapist are also a commonly used villain. Some rape for revenge. Sometimes it is for something she did, sometimes it is for something her family did. But from his point of view, he is perfectly justified in seeking that kind of revenge.

Another type of rapist are men that society, family, and church failed to condition not to see women as objects to be owned. These men see women as livestock or pets that are either someone’s possession or up for grabs to any willing to take them. They see no more harm in committing rape than they do picking up a stray cat from the sidewalk. They can be villains of opportunity, in your story, or ones that plan out and kidnap their victim. These rapists may view all women as such, or only certain types, such as those that go to nightclubs, for example. But they are no more likely to take into account how a woman feels about it than a farmer takes into account how chickens feel about him getting their eggs. When writing the rapist kidnapper POV one way of doing it, is that they are helping the woman that doesn’t know any better just as someone that picks up a stray cat is. They will do what is needed to domesticate them. They can be anything from the guy that can’t keep a job to the rich and successful businessman that everyone likes or anything in between.

Seeing the motivation of the villain instead of just calling them evil and selfish will let you create richer stories. “No man is a villain in his own story” is a good thing to remember if you are writing the villain POV. I hope you find this helpful.

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One thought on “Writing your Villain’s POV

  1. Yup, George RR Martin’s quote, almost used it for one of my video trailers. I agree with all you wrote. I enjoy writing the bad guys and their motivations. But I tend to lean Dark Romance so it’s more of a woman’s read and the women don’t always see it as a bad quality entirely.

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