Fighting the Villain Inside

I love writing villains. 
Not the mustache-twirling villains of old that modern readers find laughable. Multi-faceted characters that I can exploit for good and evil, and in the process, surprise the reader. At his best, a villain will make the hero stop and take stock. 
If the reader does too, all the better.
One trick writing books suggest for humanizing villains is to look at them through the eyes of someone who loves them.
In Deep Cover, the reader sees Emile Laud through the hero’s eyes as someone who would torch buildings for the insurance money without concern for who might be hurt as a result. We also see Laud through his niece’s eyes as someone who is generous and supportive.
The reader, of course, is left wondering who is right.
Laud is driven by ambition. He wants people to believe he’s wealthy and altruistic so they’ll admire him, because as a child he was scoffed at for being poor and unpopular.
By the end of the book, we see the consequences of his obsession. (no spoiler!)
Witnessing firsthand the villain that lurks inside each of us, the hero finds himself evaluating his own decisions.
Your turn: Is ambition a bad thing? Why or why not?
Food for Thought: Do you unconsciously try to fill a deep-rooted need in ways that might lead to unwelcome consequences?


  • interesting questions, Sandra. I believe ambition/chasing one’s dreams is not only fine but emotionally healthy . . . as long as it would make God smile. That said, there will always be people who view you as wrong or wasting time. The trick–as difficult as it is–is to keep on striving on, believing in yourself. And if this is also difficult, than visualize God holding onto your hand as a parent does when grasping a young child’s hand crossing a road.

  • Ambition itself I don’t think is wrong, but if accomplished without morals and values upheld then it’s going too far and in the wrong the way.

    I’ll have to think on that food for thought. I’m suspecting we all do at some point. Just got to figure out what mine is.

  • Villains are always so fun, but difficult when it’s the hero fighting the villain inside.

    Ambition (and/or a dream) isn’t wrong as long as it’s covered in prayer and a longing for God’s will and purpose. It’s when it becomes solely focused on what we want without regard to God (who gave us our talents, skills, and desires) that it becomes wrong.

    Glad to have found your blog on characters! I LOVE creating fun and interesting characters.

Great to "see" you here today! I look forward to reading your comment.