Writing Dark Characters

Writing dark characters has always been fun for me, probably because being the villain is more fun than being the hero.

From the Joker to Bane to Green Goblin to Doc Oc to Frieza to Cell or any other DC/Marvel or anime villain you can think of, being the villain has its perks.

You can be as selfish as you want, you usually get to do what you want regardless of consequences. Everyone hates you but you don’t give a fuck, and a whole bunch of other cool stuff, aside from harming innocents which is where I draw the line but hey, sometimes shit happens that way.

But being a villain isn’t all about raising hell and unleashing destruction and carnage on the world. Sometimes people who become villains were once good (actually, that’s the case 99% of the time nowadays) but the world and people around them pushed them to the breaking point. They broke the last straw.

So, whether you’re writing a character that’s a natural born killer or someone forced into war when they wanted peace, all villains have a few things in common. Here they are:

  1. They all believe what they’re doing is good and just
  2. They have conviction in themselves and what they stand for.
  3. They have a strong why, something that pushes them forward.
  4. They’ve embraced the dark truths that heroes are afraid to face
  5. They’ve been through enormous pain and suffering
  6. There’s almost always a method to their madness.
  7. They have redeeming qualities that make them likeable and not always villainous.

Those are just a few things they have in common and hopefully a few things that’ll help you when writing dark characters.

The morally ambiguous, the shady, the grey, the ones that aren’t entirely good but aren’t evil either are also considered dark characters. They things they have in common are:

  1. They have no issue working with enemies/people they don’t trust
  2. They have people they claim not to trust but would actually trust with their lives
  3. They often deny their vulnerability by pretending to be cold-blooded
  4. They are good at pretending to be cold-blooded
  5. They have as conscience that weighs on them
  6. They’ve been through pain and suffering and often use dark humor as a coping mechanism
  7. They usually wear only dark colors (not always black)

Well, that’s my spiel on this segment. Hopefully you have a better understanding on what dark characters are and some of their commonalities.

Till next week. . .

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