Every story needs conflict, and often that calls for a villain or two. Maybe your villain isn't out murdering people (Colleen!) Maybe they're only a catty bridesmaid at a wedding who gives your heroine the stink eye -- they still have to be believable.
What makes us believe a person could inflict evil on another? Usually, it's some internal wounding that the villain carries around with them, but you've got to find that motivation to make your villain or antagonist, multi-dimensional. For example, let's take a man who is a huge presence on the forefront of Christian Evangelicals. He is a master preacher. People are moved by his words to love God more and one day, he leaves his wife and five kids for a beauty queen. Without explanation or any sign of remorse.
There are two multiple ways you could go with his motivation for inflicting such evil on the people he is called to love and cherish. (Keep in mind, this would be the kind of villainy that could have a lot of collateral damage.)
1. He realizes his faith has never been more than a show. He is a fraud, and he wants to get away, but doesn't know how. So he takes the coward's way out because he doesn't want people to tell him that he can come back. He's been preaching the Word for years, he knows what it says. He no longer believes it, and feels it's more honorable to give his wife a chance with someone who can love the Lord and her.
2. Or...the teenager could have been in danger from a trafficking ring, and he has taken her as a bride to protect her because he knows the group would not dare come after the girl when he is under surveillance for the huge scandal.
3. He has attachment issues from a lifetime of being passed around from foster home to foster home and though he wants to be there for his kids and give them a different life, his need to matter is bigger and he can't fight it anymore. He's given his kids more than he ever had, and rationalizes that his wife can sell the house and live for years on the profits.
You get the idea. Find a reason your antagonist acts the way they do. Don't just make them villains. We ALL have the ability to inflict evil. The question is, what would make us do it?
Labels: CBA, Christian Books, companions in writing, villains, Writing advice, writing characters