Storytelling: Create a Believable Villain/Antagonist Character | Morgan Schreiber | Skillshare

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Storytelling: Create a Believable Villain/Antagonist Character

teacher avatar Morgan Schreiber, I create stories

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Project

    • 3. Getting Started

    • 4. 3 Words

    • 5. Bones

    • 6. Beliefs

    • 7. Unforgivable Behaviors

    • 8. How Evil Should Your Villain Be?

    • 9. Physical Traits

    • 10. Mannerisms and Patterns of Speech

    • 11. Fill In The Blanks

    • 12. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Creating believable characters can be challenging and like any creative skill we may critically judge ourselves, but all it takes is a little planning and practice. Believable villains can seem difficult because they’re meant to be “evil” and you want your readers to hope for their failure, but villains are characters just like your protagonist. They’re complicated, multi-faceted, and believe they’re right.

In this class we’re going to create the basis of a believable villain for your stories, whether you’re a writer, performer, or other creator. This is an introduction level class for character development, and will give you the skills you need to create interesting and strong antagonists.

Meet Your Teacher

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Morgan Schreiber

I create stories


Hi there! 

I'm Morgan, and I'm a storyteller and entrepreneur.

I create a variety of content including, fiction and non-fiction writing, digital copy for blogs and LinkedIn articles, YouTube videos, social media content, and more.

I have two sides:

A creative side which is passionate about art and performance. I'm a self-published author, I create immersive digital experiences, and direct/act in film and on stage. I've been a writer and performer for over 25 years. You can find more of my art through my website: My other side loves business and entrepreneurship. I'm on a mission to become more financially literate and stable, build my side hustles into businesses, and overall build a life I want. I'm sharing that journey on social media... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Morgan Schreiber and I create stories. Today we are going to be talking about creating a believable villain for your story. Every story has an antagonist to counter the protagonist. Now this antagonist can come in a variety of forms, but it is always a challenge to create a believable antagonist or villain to your protagonist or hero. Now that is something that I'm going to walk you through today. We're gonna go over the various things that you need to create a believable villain, like physical traits, their beliefs, their mannerisms, and their behaviors. This course is not limited to just creative writers. This course is for anyone who does storytelling, whether that is in writing, whether that is in film, whether that is in performing in some way or maybe drawing, this can apply to anything. And by the end of this course, you will have not only the skills you need to create a believable antagonist, but you will also have a completed antagonists for your story that you're currently working on. Or maybe you'll just have one for fun. Now let me introduce myself. As I said, I create stories. I create a variety of different stories and different mediums, from being a published author to creating films for online on social media and YouTube, to also being a performer on the stage. I had been in theater for most of my life. I have been writing for about as long as well, and creating film and different things like that is something that I more recently took up and had been enjoying immensely. Focusing in on my theater background. I've been performing since I was a small child and got my bachelor's in theater directing. I've run my own theatre company and directed a multitude of shows as well as performed in them. A lot of my experience when it comes to developing characters comes from my theater background. Within theater, you have to have a very clear understanding of who it is that you're portraying what they want and everything like that. You need to understand what types of behaviors to do to make them seem realistic. And I've used this knowledge and the skills towards all of my other art forms. And I'm really excited to jump in. I believe creating a villain is a lot of fun and I hope you're excited as well. So let's get started. 2. The Project: Alright, now let's talk about the project. Obviously we are creating an antagonist or a villain today, but I just want to jump in a little bit onto kind of the overview of what we're going to be covering. Now I personally will be creating three different villains along with you today because I want to give you a range of examples that you can use and will be creating a children's villain, which will be more dramatic and cartoony. I will be creating a very subtle antagonist, so one that you might not expect right away. There's going to be a little more intrigued with that one. And then I also want to create a scary AF, villain because that is also something that we see in a lot of horror stories and things like that. And I just want to remind you that this is not exclusive to writing. This can be used in any art form. You have a antagonists, protagonists balance in a lot of different scenarios. So I just want you to have fun with this. Creating characters can be a lot of fun. It really gives you the chance to brainstorm and start to think about what kind of story you want to tell and balance out GO characters based on what the protagonist is like, maybe determining what your antagonists like. First-world health later inform what you're gonna do with your protagonist. There's a lot here, so let's just get started and have a good time. 3. Getting Started: Alright, now let's get started creating your character. So this is just going to be the very preliminary, very basic information and it can always change later. But I want you to go ahead and just write down name, age, pronouns, any of the basic information that you may have of your character. Again, this is not permanent. Don't worry about it. If you don't have a name yet for your character, that's also not a problem for me personally. I spend a lot of time picking out names for my characters. So I don't usually come up with that first. I will start writing the character first so that I can get a better sense of what they are like, who they are. And then I will usually pick a name that fits that character. In some way. This is simply the basis to get you started so that you have a way to refer to your character as you start creating them. It'll help you start creating a clearer picture as we go. So again, just basic anything that you can think of that comes to mind that you know, you want to include go ahead and jot that down. Starting first with my children's Phil. And I wanted to make sure that this character would have a redemption arc, since it is very common in kind of important in children's stories that there is some sort of moral to the story. So for this character, I decided to go with the prince. And his name is Prince Michael because I felt that that was a princely name. I decided that he would be the third prince. So he has two older brothers, but I also wanted to make sure that he has other siblings as well. So I think he has one sister, but just for now I put he is the youngest child. I went ahead and identified his pronouns to keep it easy for me. So he has he him. I decided also that he would be H 19, young enough to be making some mistakes and misunderstanding, but old enough to also accomplish things and be a believable villain. And then as far as height, I decided to make him a little bit shorter for guide just because I wanted him to feel like he was treated differently and treated at a disadvantage compared to his siblings, especially his brothers. That will be really important later for his motivation. Next, we move on to the subtle villains. So this character's name is Lewis, and I had decided that I actually wanted Lewis to be a memory, not an actual person in this story. So Lewis is the father of the protagonist. Louis left home when the protagonist was about 15. He's pronouns, are he, him as far as the protagonist knows or remembers? And the character here is remembered at the age of about 35 to 40, which would line up with the protagonists age when Louis left home. Now as you can see with this example, the antagonist or villain does not have to be an actual character. So in this particular story, the protagonist is also somewhat their own antagonist because they have a trauma and memory that is holding them back and causing them issues in their life. And they're going to have to overcome those memories to be able to move forward. Now for the final character, for my scary Villa and I decided to go with a bug. This is another example of the antagonist or villain not necessarily being a person. So I decided to go with the concept of a zombie, except I changed it up a little and decided to make it so that the zombie effect is created by a bug. The bug uses hosts to survive and reproduce. There is a queen and the consumers in each host. The queen is what drives the host to feed on meat and Flash and things like that. And of course, the bug does have an official name. However, the popular name that we commonly used in the story is zombie bug. Right? So now that I have done that with my three characters, and hopefully you have done that with your character. Let's move on to the next part. 4. 3 Words: Alright, the very first thing we are going to start off with is three words. So what I want you to do is I want you to go ahead and write down three words that best describe your villain. You don't have to have a very clear picture of what you weren't willing to be like at this point. But this is going to get the ball rolling. If does not have to stay the same, you can change it as we go, but I just want you to get started, kinda get brainstorms going, things like that. I'm also going to provide you a couple of examples based on characters that you most likely are already familiar with. So here I've chosen loci and Voldemort, many examples. And you can see the words that I chose described more than just their villainy and describes their whole character. Now that I've given you some examples, if you are still stuck, I want you to think about some of your favorite characters and pick three words that best describe them. This will kind of help you get an idea of what you're looking for. Again, these words can be anything that can be physical traits, that can be behaviors, that can be personality or anything like that. These words can also conflict a little bit. They don't necessarily have to represent a true hardened villain. They can represent someone who was maybe a victim at 1 in their lives. These characters are meant to be complex as people are complex. So feel free to just pick whichever words are coming to you at the time. Here are the words that I've chosen for my three different villains that I'm creating. As you can see, these are just basic routes to get me started. They certainly do not describe the entirety of the character. We will continue to work on that as we go. 5. Bones: So now we're gonna get started on the bones of your character. What I mean by this are the essential two bits of information or traits to your character that are necessary to tell your story. This could be something about their past. Maybe they had a traumatic past or event in their past that has shaped the way that they perceived the world. Maybe they only have one eye. And that's going to be a pivotal point in the story. A bit of information that we need to know for something else to happen. Those are the types of things that I want you to focus on right now. Those are going to eat beef bones of your character. And they are the undeniable, indisputable things, but you need to have to make this story happened. So I took a lot of the information that we hashed out in the last video and I built on that. So for my children's fill in for Prince Michael, I continued to build on the idea that he is the youngest child of the royal family. And i decided he also should be several years younger than his next sibling and definitely younger, way younger than the rest of them because I felt that would create a bit of a divide between him and his siblings. He is also smaller physically than his brothers and his father. And because he's the last in line for the crown, he was often ignored and forgotten. So all of the training and teachings and everything like that went towards his older siblings. He is incredibly smart, which also would explain why he is hurt in this whole process and also how he can become a villain because he has a knack for strategy that his siblings lacked. He's very bitter and hurt and just wants approval, which is where a lot of his motivation is going to come from. I did end up deciding that he has one sister and to also make it a little more equal, all three of those siblings are in line for the throne before him, so he is technically fourth in line. Now this one for the subtle villain is a little bit different because again, as I said, the antagonist is technically also the protagonist since it is a memory. So Lewis is the memory of the protagonists father. He was strict and had exceedingly high expectations at the protagonist. So already we've got unrealistic standards in the protagonist's mind and would often manipulate the protagonist by withholding love and just through his actions and the things that he would say. He haunts the protagonists affecting your relationships with partners, friends, work, and themselves again, because we've got the manipulation factor and the high standards. And when the protagonist was 15, The night they received an F on a project for school is when the antagonists, the villain, left home and was never heard from again. So this also creates an opportunity for storytelling for the protagonists to associate failure and things like that with a lack of love with the father, leaving out sort of thing. In this case, when I'm creating this character, I want to make sure that everything is going to directly influence how the protagonists behaves. Now for my scary villain, I wanted to create a horror story and I wanted to base all of this character design on some realistic factual things, but also a lot of it is just based off her fears. So the zombie bug comes from a genetic experiment gone wrong. The queen bug controls the brains of animals driving that need to eat meat. And then the rest of the HIV survives in the host digestive track. This explains the relationship between the queen and the rest of the HIV. As the HIV grows and it's neat for me, continues to grow as well along with it, it ends up turning to host into a zombie. Because all they can think about is getting meet. When the queens are born, they will leave and begin their own hives in another host. Now this may or may not result in the death of the host and haven't yet sided. But ultimately you can see my process here in creating a zombie using a different format than what we've traditionally seen in zombie stories. Alright, so I've given you the examples of the bones from my characters and hopefully you have a better sense of the bones for your characters. This is something that you can always come back to. You don't have to have all the answers right now. Again, the bones are just the absolutely essential indisputable facts about your character to make your story happen. There are other things that you can add to your character that do not make the story, make or break the story. B's things do. 6. Beliefs: Now we're going to talk about your characters beliefs. These are very important. These are going to be essentially their moral compass. These are going to determine the actions they take. As you know, everyone has their own beliefs, their own ideas, and they are very important to each person, each individual. They also, if they are beliefs are hard to change. So we're going to determine what those beliefs for your character, r and c from there, what that influences your character to do. Now one of the most important things that I learned in my experience is that your villain doesn't think, oh, I'm the villain. They think that what they're doing is right now. They may recognize that they are not a good person. They don't necessarily have to believe that they are good, but they need to think that what they're doing is the right choice. Otherwise, why would they do it? And this doesn't have to mean that your character thinks that the action they're taking is a good action or the right action. Maybe they are being forced to it by someone else, but they are making that choice to do what someone else wants. And so therefore, they have to believe that what they're doing is the right choice. Now, whatever it is that they are trying to achieve that should also be in opposition to your protagonists. There needs to be a reason that your protagonist is trying to accomplish something or to stop the protagonist. What I also want you to consider is why is it that you're antagonists believes the things that they believed, was there something in their childhood that influenced them and make them believe this? Was there some sort of major event that occurred at some point in their life or maybe just before your story starts, that makes them change their mind about something in the world. What is it that is causing this belief? If you know this, if you can determine what the source of their belief and their motivation is, this will help you write a believable character through the rest of your story. And remember, it may not be some sort of large event that had occurred at maybe just how they were raised, but whatever it is, it should influence how your character behaves. Alright, so for Prince Michael, obviously a lot of his belief is going to come from his childhood growing up. And the fact that he felt very left out on appreciated less than. So, he believes, knowing that he is very intelligent and good at strategy, he believes that he is more intelligent and more deserving TO ruled and his siblings. He leaves it he would be best for the position. And while he doesn't recognize it, he is actually seeking approval and validation from his family. Now this really plays into the fact that they have essentially been sending the message that he is not best for the position that he is not deserving of that position. So what he wants to hear and feel is that he is deserving, that He is worthy. France Louis, the subtle villain, the memory of Lewis believes that the protagonist is never good enough and often shows up when something good or bad happens in the protagonist's life, basically haunting the protagonist. And it's important to remember that in this case, Muse's beliefs are directly tied to the protagonist's beliefs, since it is a memory manifestation in the protagonist's mind. So another twist on this is AMI bug doesn't actually have beliefs that has the inherent need to reproduce and feed. So nothing about it is personal, Isn't thought or planned out. It is a biological need that drives the zombie bugs. This is essentially the same thing. There is still a driving force behind this antagonists the same as there are with the other ones. And I provided a variety of examples here so that you hopefully have a better understanding that belief is kind of a generic term that I am using. What we're really talking about here is the driving force behind your antagonist. All right, so now that we have created our characters beliefs, let's move onto the next part. 7. Unforgivable Behaviors: Now we're going to delve into unforgivable behaviors. There needs to be a reason that your audience is rooting for your villain or antagonists to lose, to fail. So we're going to focus in on what that unforgivable behavior might be. And makes sure that it is something that your audience is going to root against. This should be something that neither your audience nor your hero can forgive. It can be something as far as cruelty. Maybe they are cruel to other people. Maybe they are just determined to dominate the world in a way that is not in align with what your hero thinks should be happening. Maybe they are manipulative. There's a variety of things that you can do and you can really play around with that depending on what type of story is that you're trying to tell, it could be more subtle or it can be very dramatic. Obviously, we've got larger cartoon characters for children. They're going to have more obvious and dramatic, unforgivable behaviors. But we also know that there are a lot of stories out there that are more subtle where you kind of like the antagonist. You just also don't like them. And it's a bit of a debate in the audience's mind. Start off, when we're on Prince Michael, the children's going. So I wanted to make sure that his unforgivable behavior was something that we work for a children's story. So it needs to be easy to understand. And I also wanted to make sure it had a bit of a redemption arc option. So he betrays his family by using magic to curse them so that he can claim the throne And then he rules the kingdom or whatever it is, out of anger and pain, which causes him to be cruel and unfair to his people. So this is something that's very understandable. It's very emotional which a child will be able to relate to. But like I said, it also has the potential for him to learn and correct his behavior in the end. Now, since Lewis is not actually a physical being and also as a subtle villain, I wanted to make sure that the unforgivable behaviors were more psychological rather than physical. And we know that Louis often withheld love and affection to punish the protagonist is they were growing up, so the memory of Louis often does the same. It'll be a more extreme version of that because it has grown into this antagonist, villainous character in a protagonist's mind. So often loose is going to be casting judgment. There's going to be very critical of the protagonists choices and things that happen in the Protecting slice. This is what the protagonist is going to have to overcome. Because again, Lewis is in the protagonist's mind, not an actual physical beating for the scary villain. I feel that it's pretty obvious what the unforgivable behavior is. The zombie bug turns humans and other animals into zombies which will eat any meat they can find. And then I decided to also add another conflict to the story that the zombie bugs are resistant to medicine and poison. And this is not so much a behavior as it is a trait. But again, we're not dealing with a person. We are dealing with a bunch of bugs basically. And so their behavior is not going to be based personally on opinions or anything. It's going to be based on just their need to feed. All right, so now that we've gone over the unforgivable behaviors, I have shown you my examples for my characters and hopefully you have a better sense of what your antagonists unforgivable behavior might be. Let's move onto the next part. 8. How Evil Should Your Villain Be?: So this next section we're going to be talking about how bad or evil should your villain b. Now this is going to be heavily influenced by the unpredictably behavior and vice versa that we just worked on. So this is a great part to move on to. Now, the biggest thing that you need to ask is who is your audience? Obviously, if you are writing something or creating a character for children, then maybe you don't want your willing to be too bad. You know, they're gonna seem bad to a kid's mind. But you don't necessarily want to be including a lot of gruesome details or violence or anything like that. If it's something for children. If you are trying to create some sort of horror, mystery, thriller story for adults, that is going to be much more graphic than you can push that boundary a lot farther. So that is going to be your biggest thing is just make sure that your character is appropriate for your audience. The other question you need to ask is how much do you want your audience to hate this character? Are they supposed to just be absolutely loathed and you definitely don't want them twin. Or like I mentioned in the last video, do you want your audience to debate whether or not they want them to succeed or lose. Do you want your audience to become attached to them and sometimes hope that they went. Another thing that you can do if you make your character a little more on the fence in the grey area, is you can use that in your storytelling to create a bit of suspense or anticipation around whether or not that character is going to have a redemption arc. You can even have your character half a redemption arc, or you can just tease your audience with it. It really can go either way. That is going to be something that's very useful if you're trying to write a complex, realistic character in a complex story, it is probably going to be seeing more in stories for adults than it is for children. But you can still have some of those in stories for kids, obviously, we have seen in examples like Harry Potter with Professor Snape. He was a character that went back and forth very much in the gray area where sometimes you didn't want him to succeed and sometimes you kinda liked him. It was really tough. And he had redemption arc. Now, it's all up to you and the story you are trying to tell. But these are all things to keep in mind when you're creating your character. So for my children's villain, I wanted to make sure that the story has a moral lesson, which means that Prince Michael can't be too evil. He's going to have a redemption arc and he needs to be forgivable at some point. So at the end of the story is going to realize that he went too far, he learned his lesson and then he changes his ways. Hill sacrifice something to write his wrong. This means prince Michael's actions cannot cause irreparable damage to the other characters. For the subtle villain because of the fact that Louis is a manifestation of the protagonists ONE trauma and feelings. The memory of Louis isn't actually evil. And this character actually shouldn't be so evil beyond redemption. Because essentially the protagonists ability to move on and move forward in their own story and overcome all of the trauma that they had is dependent upon their ability to forgive and move past the things that Lewis has done in the past. Now the zombie bug isn't inherently evil, however, it is pursuing everything out of a biological need. The damage that it is doing is very significant and permanent. So this would be deemed a very evil character. It ultimately is not going to have any redemption arc or anything like that. It's simply must be defeated or else it will defeat the protagonists and the rest of the world. So on a scale of one to ten, as far as how evil is the zombie bug? I'm gonna say it goes to 11. Alright, so I've provided you with a few different examples of how evil a character can be. So hopefully you have a better sense of what you want for your character. And let's move on to the next part. 9. Physical Traits: Let's jump into physical traits. This is something that is also going to be very important for your character, is something that you can play with a lot more. It's also going to vary how much of the fiscal traits you need to have planned out depending on what art form you're working in. If you are writing a story, it is simply going to be read. You can focus in on just the main, most notice a pole fiscal traits. However, if you are drawing something or creating a visual art or creating a character for performance or film. Obviously, you're going to have a more complete picture of what those physical traits are. There's also the difference between performance where you have an actor that looks a certain way and you can only adjust their appearance so much to adopt those physical traits versus a visual art that you are completing completely from scratch. That character, you can do all of the physical traits out of your mind. There is no limitation there. There is also no limitation necessarily with writing. However, you don't wanna get too caught up in the details, otherwise people are going to lose interest. Now something you need to ask yourself is do you want your character to be immediately identifiable as the villain? Or do you want it to be more of a surprise later on, if you're going for a chameleon antagonist, then you're going to want to probably use traits that are a little more mundane a little every day. They could even be traits that are more aligned with a hero if you really want it to come as a shock and you want a betrayal in your story, then maybe your antagonist looks and gives the appearance and impression of a protagonist. If you wanna go in the opposite direction and you want your character to be immediately identified as the villain, then you're going to look at traits that are more associated with being a villain. Now I will warn you to be very careful when you are using physical traits to tell and present what type of character your character is, whether they're a villain or a good guy. Because this is all very much based in stereotypes that people have, some of which are not appropriate to use. So please be aware of that. And if you have any doubts about the stereotypes that you are using, ask the people around you. Now some character traits that you can play with are things like scars. Maybe they got them from an event in their past, or maybe they are a fighter and so it makes sense. They could have really large feet and maybe at the scene of the crime, they found footprints that were abnormally large. They can be a variety of things like that. You can also play with the opposite where maybe it's a character that really sweet. It has such a vibrant and infectious smile and laugh. And it turns out they're devious mastermind whose plotted the whole thing. There's a lot of options you can do, but you can see how these different character traits and physical traits will influence how your character is perceived by your audience and also by your hero. For Prince Michael, I wanted to give him blue eyes because I feel like blue eyes are often stereotypically valued a little bit more than other colors. So I wanted to take something that people find attractive and put that onto the villain character. We have already talked about that he is smaller than his brothers and his father, so I also want him to be thin and just average strength. Somebody that they don't take seriously physically. He is however more intelligent, so he does have a larger forehead. This is often associated biologically with having a larger brain. So I feel like that does scientifically makes sense. And then a little history and something to use in his story is he's got a scar on his left arm and hand from a prank that his brothers played on him as a child. Now this is something that I plan on referring to in his story. When he is thinking about his family or how hurt he is paying anything like that friend has passed. Since loose isn't actually real. I wanted to play around with these traits a little bit more. So he has dark eyes and this is simply to really add to his judgmental book. We don't actually know what color eyes the protagonists father had. And maybe they don't remember, which is why I've given him dark eyes. He is tall and looming because of course he left when the protagonist was 15. So the protagonist is going to remember him probably taller than he actually is in real life. He is always wearing a sweater, slacks, and the trench coat from the night he left home. Since that memory is the one that the protagonist will be referencing a lot and his hair is short engrain, this I feel like is a feature that the protagonist can actually remember somewhat accurately, so that one is based in reality. Now with the zombie bug, I actually have to describe more than just the bugs because we've got not only the queen bug and the rest of the HIV, but we've also got the zombies themselves. I decided to use some common traits that people find disturbing or gross For the bugs. So first off, they are small with a soft body. They also have wings because I wanted to add the added scare tactic that they can fly. And they are pale in color. People often find flesh or pale color things a little bit more disturbing or gross. So that is just adding to their frightened factor. The Queen has bristles that inject chemicals into the host, causing zombie effect. And I went with bristles because I wanted to make sure that if anyone tried to remove the queen, it would cause damage, making it more challenging to get rid of the zombie bug. The rest of the bugs have small pincers. I did a little research and found that generally bugs that eat meat, and this is not true to everything, but a lot of them they eat meat, will have pincers. Has for the zombie hosts, they're often unwashed, mildly injured, and look sickly. Alright, so now we've come up with some basic physical traits for our characters. So let's get moving onto the next part. 10. Mannerisms and Patterns of Speech: Now we're gonna talk about mannerisms and patterns of speech. Now this is something that we see more obviously in film where we've got actors, are performers playing something also on stage. But it is something that you can take into consideration when you're creating your character. You will see it less so when you are drawing, but you can still use it to influence how your character and weight behave. For example, if they have a stutter that might change their posture, so that would influence their physical appearance. When you are creating a character for a written story or for performance, you definitely, definitely want to pay attention to their mannerisms and patterns of speech because those little details are really going to help create a full, complete character. They also, again, just like anything else can come from past experiences in a character's life. They can be something that is just inherent. It really just depends. Now the important thing about speech patterns and mannerisms Is that your character may not realize that they do them. A lot of times, mannerisms and things like that are much smaller. So it could be as simple as maybe your character can be a little insecure. And so they tuck hair behind their ear or they fiddle with something or they just kinda chew on their finger or something like that. It can be little, little things like this that are really going to give your character at the depth that you want to create a believable story and villain. Also keep in mind that a lot of these behaviors and mannerisms and speech patterns are going to be repetitive. So your character will be doing them more than once. It is a psychological pattern that people do these things. And so one time doing something isn't going to be a personality trait. That's going to be just a one-off. It's going to be something that is influenced by something in their life. It could be an internal sources, external source. But we're really getting into the psychological mindset behind her character with this one. So I definitely want you to think about what could be influencing these mannerisms or behaviors. If there is a mannerism or behavior or speech pattern that you really, really want to include in your character, but you haven't determined where it comes from yet. Go ahead and sit down and try to brainstorm what could justify that mannerism or that speech pattern. And does it make sense with your care? Because maybe it doesn't make sense with this particular character. And so you'll want to save it for another character down the line. Now I already mentioned in physical traits, Michael scar on his arm and hand. When he's thinking of his family or his past, I'm gonna have him touch that scar because he doesn't realize that he's doing so, but he is referencing that point of pain in his life. He's also soft-spoken and speaks very concisely. He's not used to participating in a lot of conversations because he has kept to himself a lot and been ignored by his family. When he is angry, he tightens and Louis's fist rapidly and repeatedly. This is a repetitive trait, but I decided to give him, I'd like to give repetitive traits to a lot of my characters because we all have a lot of repetitive mannerisms that we may not realize that we do know because Louis is just a memory, a part of the protagonists trauma. I wanted to actually give Louis somewhat of a blank slate effect. What I mean by this is since we know most as a memory of the protagonist and the protagonist is reacting based on past traumas and scarves. Everything that the protagonist sees Lewis as doing needs to be more so coming from the protagonist than it is from Lewis. This is why lewis doesn't speak. He actually doesn't move a whole lot when he does appear, you can be very still. And despite that, the protagonist will still come to their own conclusions. I did want loose to frown slightly when disapproving as this is something that the protagonists would have seen a lot as a child. And then he's also seen often walking away. And this again is all coming from that one pivotal memory in the protagonists history of Louis leaving home though is can be a bit of a challenging Ville into right? Because essentially he is an extension of the protagonist. Zombie bug doesn't actually have mannerisms and speech patterns that are noticeable in the story. So my focus was predominantly on the host. The host MOOC, mostly like humans would. However, they are weaker due to the strain on their immune systems. So they don't necessarily move as quickly as they would have prior to becoming a zombie. I did want to base their movements in magical science rather than some stories where we see zombies running a lot faster. Just because that wouldn't necessarily make sense based on what's happening to them. They do eventually lose their ability to have anything more than simple communication due to the drive to eat, communication for them becomes all about that biological need to feed. And so other communication and thought becomes unnecessary. This is also true for any mannerisms. They won't be dancing in the middle of the street, for example. Alright, so now we have gone over mannerisms and speech patterns with my characters. And hopefully you have a good sense of what you want for your character. Let's move on to the next part. 11. Fill In The Blanks: At this point, you should have a pretty good picture of what your villain is like. So this very last step is just filling in the blanks, going back over everything that you've created for your character and your character and figuring out if there's any other little details that you would like to include that help explain anything or create that full picture of the character. Remember this character is complex and so they will have things that contradict one another. They're gonna have weaknesses, they're going to have strengths, anything like that that you can fill in at this point. This is also something that you can fill in as the story goes. The story will also bring out certain traits or aspects of your character that maybe you previously hadn't considered. So don't feel like you have to have completely figured out your character. At this point in time, you will be able to discover your character as you go. But at this point, it should give you a pretty good basis to work off of. So I hope that this has given you a clearer idea of what to look out when you're creating a villain or an antagonist for your story. And I hope you've actually created a pretty awesome character at this point. For Prince Michael, I have already talked about his childhood and he was not treated equally compared to his brothers. So I wanted to just kinda fill in the blanks here. So he was teased as a child about his weakness and when it came sort training, the accident where he received his scar was due to him losing his temper and he challenged his middle brother. And this actually caused him to stop learning sportsmanship and to turn more towards magic and knowledge after that. This is also something I've talked about through this class. Lewis is just a memory. And so technically it is the protagonist who must overcome their own trauma and feelings to defeat Louis, the villain. In this case, I just wanted to make sure that it was clear and so that I would remember as I was writing the story, that this is the case for the zombie bug, I feel as though I've pretty much hashed out most of the details at this point in time because it's a creature that is just pursuing its basic biological needs. I don't really think there are any more details about how it's going to behave or act or anything like that that are necessary at this point. Alright, so I have filled in any last blinks that I had for my character. I feel pretty good about the characters that I've created as point. I think they are interesting and complex and hopefully I gave you three examples, give you a better idea of characters for different audiences are different types of characters. If you're still not feeling completely satisfied with your character at this point, feel free to go back through the steps that we have covered and just see if there are any points that need adjustments or anything that you're missing, anything that needs to be taken out. Maybe you've included certain details about your character that just don't quite fit, right? You can go ahead and take those out. But yeah, just take a look at your character and see what else needs to happen to make this character complete. 12. Final Thoughts: Alright, so now you should have a complete villain. Hopefully, my three examples provided enough information for you to be able to determine what type of villain you are trying to create and really create the structure for them. I hope you had a good time. I know I did. I always have a good time creating characters. I find it fascinating because there's so much there that can influence who they are, what they believe, how they behave, everything like that. And hopefully you enjoyed this as well. Now I do want you to feel free to take a look back through these courses if there are any parts that you're kind of stuck on it. Again, there's a lot of different things to think about when you're creating a believable character, whether it is a villain or a protagonist. So feel free to take a look back through there and remember that it is a process. You may not have a completed character at this point, but they will become more rounded and complete as you create your story, every storyteller is different, so you have to find your own process, but this is mine and this is what has worked for me. I really prefer to get a good handle on my characters and my basic outline of my story before I start creating the actual story and filling in those blanks, I find it very informative. There are also a lot of storytellers and critters that like to fly a little faster and looser. So if that is your style, that is totally fine. But I do hope that this taught you something and gave you some information and skills that you can use in the future. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them down in the discussion and I would love for you to share your projects. It's always very valuable to see what other people are creating. I can give you feedback on your projects if you would like that. And then if you have any questions or if you're curious and my examples weren't enough to give you a better picture of what type of character creator, how did you go about this? Feel free to take a look at any other projects that are there that can also give you a pretty good idea of what types of villains other people are creating. I just want to thank you so, so much for taking this class and I hope that it has taught you some skills that you'll be able to use in future. I also want to suggest that you go follow me and then see what other classes I offer. I try to offer a variety focused on creative business. And I will be coming out with more in the future. So if you follow, then you can stay tuned and find out about classes first before anyone else. Otherwise, thank you so much again, and I look forward to seeing what characters you've created.