Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guest Blog with Sandra Robbins Day Two

Creating an Unforgettable Character

Mystery, suspense, and romance stories that have a strong villain have always been a favorite of mine. There has to be a character who doesn’t want to see the hero and heroine to be successful in accomplishing their goals. That person provides a hook that keeps me turning the pages. Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing the villain’s character so much. He or she can take the story in directions that you never thought possible when you started reading. But what makes a strong villain? Of course there must be a desire to wreak havoc on those in the story, but I’ve come to realize there must be more.

I thought about the other day when I watched a rerun of The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis. This is one of my all time favorite movies, and I’ve watched it so many times I can almost quote the dialogue. The story is set in 1757 along the Hudson River during the French and Indian War.

The villain in this story is Magua, a Huron who harbors a deep hatred for Col. Munro, a British officer. Magua’s children were killed, and he was taken slave by the Mohawks, causing his wife to marry another when Col. Munro's men attacked his village. Magua has sworn revenge on Munro and his children.

As the story builds to a climax, the hatred Magua feels is evident in all his actions, but his sorrow at the losses in his life tugs at your heart. Wes Studi plays the part of Magua so magnificently, one can understand the reasons behind his hatred. His skillful portrayal gives a glimpse into a man who harbors complex reasons for his behavior.

Every writer hopes to create a villain who will be remembered. For me, Magua is one of those characters. With villains like this, we may not want to encounter them personally, but they make for exciting reading.

From movies or literature, who is a villain that stands out in your mind?


  1. Even though I've never seen the movie, Silence of the Lambs, I've heard of Hannibal Lecter. He is a renowned villain that nearly everyone has is familiar with--whether we wanted to be or not. :-)

  2. Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmations. In the movies and in the book.


  3. I like the portrayal of Lex Luthor on the series, "Smallville." Everyone knows he becomes this evil character but he begins as
    Clark Kent's best friend. The series shows the influences that lead to his decline.