Some villains are just plain nuts, right? Wrong. On a serious note, whether its done consciously or not, I think there are some illnesses and mental disorders that often sit behind some of the greatest villains. Understanding these disorders and their sometimes comorbid nature allows us to create more authentic villains. I want to tread carefully here, I think it’s important to respect mental health and the sufferers, importantly, I am not suggesting people or characters with mental health issues are villains or antagonists, just that some of the great villains have these disorders.
There are some important lessons we can learn from these illnesses which can help us to being authenticity to our characters. Having an awareness of these disorders can give you insight, genuine reactions, and understanding of what the source of their conflict can be – which gives you more plot and more depth to your characters. (more…)