Category Archives: Writing class

The Villain- Part 1



These are my notes from week 5 of my Character Development class. Again the notes ran long so this will be a two parter.

The villain can be a situation such as stress, sweat, nerves etc. You have to make it a problem for the hero else it will fall flat.

What would you consider the villain to be like is something you need to ask yourself when creating this character.

-The dark side can be the high light of the story

-What seeds did you plant to lay the brickwork that lead to your villain?

-Evil can be situational or can be a person

-When you start creating a villain it is best you don’t show them early in the storyline but instead plant

the seeds. Give the reader suspense.

-Villain vs hero should be written in the first few pages of your storyline. But for the villain make it an image.


Some classic ways to show this is

-the villain enjoys the hero being in pain or sorrow

-focus on the personality and qualities vs the dramatic function of the villain

-get to the root of the characters for both hero and villain


Villain- This character has a very specific function in the story. Make him/her part of the story and by doing so show the personality. Break this character down to the core like you would the hero.

There are 4 elements to a villain

-Antagonist- your anti-hero

-Influence Characters- how they influence the good guy

-Second Most Central Characters

-Bad guy- This you show by the qualities they have and how they are depicted in the story



Antagonist- The goal is to prevent the hero from achieving their goal

-One way is to beat the hero to the prize

-Just disagreeing with the hero can be one way.


People will see the guy who is right as the hero and the one who isn’t as the antagonist

Bad guy-Does not mean he wallows in trouble but ask why they did it. How did they feel about the


Sometimes the dark side come across as


-gang related



-when bad things happen

This all shapes the villain. It does not have to be specific. They could be the star of the story line if you over shadow your hero. Or your characters could flip-flop from being hero at the beginning and then the villain at the end.

How you want your villain to be in the story has to match up through to the end, any questions you have out there needs to be answered.  In a nutshell, a villain is nailed by their personality type, to do that get to the root of their character. Where are they from, why are they the way they are.


Characters Make The Plot- Part 1

These are the notes from my Character Development class. This is week 4.

The setting tells you where and when a story line is occurring. It has to be believable for it gives you the opportunity to deliver a backdrop for your book.

For example:

If you are in the tundra or jungle odds are the book is an adventure.

If the dust bowl in the Midwest is where you are at the character might experience tough times in the story line.

Mood and setting can change through the book one just has to make it believable for the reader.

Location and weather also hints where the reader will find themselves. The setting gives us the physical boundaries, it develops the plot and characters.

The protagonist is the central figure that readers can identify with but they must go through changes through the book or else they will fall flat and one dimensional. The antagonist is working against our hero, the protagonist You want your characters to be well rounded. They should have positive features and still be flawed making them dynamic as they change with the experiences they encounter.

Static characters- Static characters are minor characters in a work of fiction who do not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also referred to as “two-dimensional characters” or “flat” they play a supporting role to the main character, who as a rule should be round or complex.

Flat characters- A flat character is a minor character in a work of fiction who does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also referred to as “two-dimensional characters” or “static characters,” flat characters play a supporting role to the main character, who as a rule should be round.

Characterization-Ways to develop characters directly or indirectly. Directly we state what the character looks like, what they say, do or feel. Indirectly we let the readers draw the conclusions by the words written.

Plot- An arrangement of sequence of the story including conflict and obstacles.

There were a lot of notes to put in one post. So will make this a two parter.

Next post will be on the different type of plots.

Creating Real Life Characters

Week 2 Creating Real Life Characters

These are my notes for the second week of my Character Development class

The key thing to look for in a character- What do you notice when you see someone for the first time?

Do we try to describe the person’s characteristics below?

– physical
-speech- type of speech/ do they stutter/ accent etc-
-their habits

What aspect do we pick up first?

Notice after you make a list what you thought of first when you evaluated the person.
What did you include? What did you leave out?

What would I notice about me from someone’s else who would be looking at me?

Characters: We have to make them believable and enjoyable.  Even the villain has to be constructed this way.  If we fail then the characters fall flat. 

Example of habits: twitch, limp, wear the same outfit repeatedly in a time frame.
curves her r when she speaks etc

If we just describe by appearance it makes our characters one-dimensional.

No matter how strong the plot or theme is,  it makes our character undeveloped which leaves readers bored and confused.

Try to get more personal with our characters:
-do they laugh a certain way
-do they have a quirk that makes them different?
-do their lip droop due to a stroke or accident?

Action driven plot- writers who write this way draw from their left side of the brain. They think in a linear function sort of way.  They like structure. They have little trouble expressing words/ descriptions but have trouble finding the right words. They have rational thinking and focus on reality.

Character driven plot- These writers have feeling, creativity and imagination.. They use the right side of the brain. They love the beauty of the language. They are subjective.  They are random and disorganize but see their story as a whole.

Character Driven or Action Driven? Which one is your main guy or gal?

Take the following test and see where you fit.

Answer these questions about your cast members.

1- Protagonist’s overall story goal

2- What stands in his or her way of achieving the goal?

3- What does he or she stand to lose, if not successful?

4- Flaw or greatest fault

5- Greatest strength

6- Hates

7- Loves

8- Fear

9- Secret


This was to show which way we lean in our writings.

If you answered 1-3 and had problem we have no dramatic excitement about our character. We are action driven

If we answered 4-10 with ease Then we are character driven in our writings.

If we answered all ten with ease then we write both ways.

If we fail to do 4-10 with ease, more likely our character is action driven, which means they are arranged in order and have conclusion but lack the human element and hence losing the audience attention. You will lose 70 percent of your readers.

Is the description of your character just surface information or does it hit the core?