|Negative Traits Thesaurus|
I recently bought the book Negative Traits Thesaurus, by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. It's subtitled, "A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws." The book is a strong resource for creating a three-dimensional hero or heroine, but can also help you write strong villains. Creating an emotionally charged hero or villain means giving him/her more than a laundry list of flaws or strengths. Developing those in a relatable way is important too.
However, after studying this book for a bit, I've noticed there are five basic things that determine whether a character is a hero or a villain. Ask these questions about your hero/ine to make them more relatable.
- What are the emotional attributes of your hero?
- What are the emotional wounds of your hero?
- What are the emotional flaws of your hero?
- What fears drive your hero?
- What morals prevent the above items from making your hero a villain?
Now ask these questions about your villain, and ask yourself what morals prevent him/her from becoming a hero.
If you write science fiction or fantasy, my new book Tarthian Empire Companion, an illustrated World-Building Bible and Guide to Writing a Science Fiction Series might be helpful. It includes info on organizing a story bible to track timelines; character development; a section for military ranks, ships, and naming protocols, plus other aspects of writing a scifi. Amazon ($3.99) http://bit.ly/companion-az