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Crafting Villains: Exploring Top 10 Tropes for Writers

By Mackenzie Harrison

There’s something captivating about a powerful villain that gets readers on the edge of their seats. Whether it’s their determination and the sacrifices they’ve made along the way or how powerful they are, you just can’t deny a good villain story. Villains make up a huge portion of the story, so finding the right villain trope for your story is essential. If you’re crafting a book and unsure which route you want to go with your villain, we’ve got you covered! Below, we’ll explore the top ten villain tropes for writers. 

1. The Reluctant Villain

This type of villain was more than likely thrown into this lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean they like it. This could be a child who grew up in a mob family and was forced to be the mob boss, or it could be that they were naive and didn’t know what they were getting into. They don’t particularly like being the bad guy, but they don’t have a choice, and that tends to make readers feel sorry for them. 

2. The Sympathetic Villain

Sympathetic villains are relatable to the reader because even though their actions are evil, they strive for positive changes. They typically have a tragic backstory that explains their actions. Even though they go about things the wrong way, they are trying to change things for the better, and that shows readers that they have redeemable qualities. 

3. The Hero Turned Villain

This trope explores a hero that tragically spirals into a villain. While it’s sad to see a good person go bad, it’s also incredibly intriguing for readers to learn what events led them to their breaking point. 

4. The Evil Villain

This villain is chaotic, unpredictable, and pure evil. The acts that they perform are shocking, and they show zero remorse for it. They lack compassion and can be conniving, manipulative, and downright cruel. This type of villain keeps readers on edge because you never know what they will do next. 

5. The Mastermind

This villain is intelligent and utilizes their mind, science, or strategy to take down the hero. They have everything perfectly planned out, and they might even reveal the plan to the hero.

6. The Heartbroken Villain

This villain experienced some type of heartbreak, which led them down a dark path. Everything they do is either out of spite, jealousy, or deeply motivated by betrayal. Their heartbreak could be from a romantic relationship, a close friendship, or a relative. Regardless, they were badly burned, and they are ready to retaliate. 

7. The Power-Hungry Villain

With this trope, the villain gets a little taste of power, and they not only want more, but they crave it. They become drunk on power, which could lead them to do despicable acts. They won’t let anything stand in their way to get the control and authority they so badly need. 

8. The Monster 

This villain is typically an animal, a werewolf, an alien, a vampire, etc. This character could also be human, but they are completely deprived of any emotions, and they have no redeeming qualities. This makes them live up to the “monster” name. They could figuratively or literally be monsters. 

9. The Hidden Villain

The hidden villain can be quite shocking for readers, as you don’t know they are the villain until later on in the story. The villain could be someone who pretends to be an ally or is a background character. Readers love this trope because it gives them a chance to guess which character is the villain, and when they finally find out the culprit it can be jaw-dropping when done correctly. 

10. The Villain Turned Hero

If your goal is for the readers to fall in love with the villain, you may want to dive into the villain-to-hero trope. This trope allows the reader to love the villain without feeling like a villain themselves. Everyone loves a comeback story, and when the villain turns things around and becomes good, it’s hard for the reader not to cheer them on.

The Next Step

Once you’ve gotten your villain trope story written, the next step is creating your book cover. Book Brush offers an affordable, simple, and fast way to make stunning book covers. You need a captivating book cover to go with your incredible villain story, and with Book Brush, that’s exactly what you’ll get! Make your book stand out with a cover that will intrigue potential readers and pull them into wanting to read your book.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a number of villain tropes you can dive into, but finding the right one for your storyline, hero, and audience is important. Whichever villain trope you decide to write about, you can guarantee that Book Brush is there to aid you in creating perfect book covers, social ads, bookmarks, logo designs, etc. Let’s knock your book out of the park together!


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