Posted by: Judy | May 20, 2019

Likable villain… No

I’ve attended numerous lectures, workshops, and writers conferences, over the last dozen years. Every single time the presenter talks about writing villains, the speaker always, ALWAYS says, “You have to write a likable villain.”

No. Just no. Absolutely not. I can’t do it.

I’ve put authors on my No List because they made their villain likable.

In my stories, I will have likable jerks who turn out to be heroes. I never write likable villains. Ever. They may be handsome and smart but that doesn’t mean likable.


How many times did I hear, “Your mother is so wonderful. You are so lucky.”

No, no I wasn’t. I was abused, used, belittled, starved, punished for things she did and things she thought I did. I was lucky she didn’t kill me, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Looking back, I can see where God protected me again and again.

To the outsider, the reader, my mother was a likable person. To my sister and me, she was hateful. She saw us as competition that had to be squashed.

Did she have good qualities? Yes. Unfortunately, those qualities were inconsistent and could be twisted, and she did, depending on what she wanted.

No, I won’t write a likable villain. That may be detrimental to my success as an author, but I don’t think I’m the only one who prefers the villain not be likable.

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