The Power Of The Dark Side – Creating A Villain With Dangerous Power

When my sister and I were little girls, a bully terrorized our bus. Some things never change, eh?

This bully packed punch, height, a mean scowl and dominated the back seat every day. Those of us who stood less than four feet tall feared the giant who delighted in stealing our snacks, lunches and punching any who dared to oppose him.

We tried avoiding him, running fast to the teacher at the school doors, but no matter how hard we tried he hunted us down like a wolf stalks sheep.

Finally, one day we realized something important. No one had the power to stand up to him alone. The time had come for a shorty revolt. We plotted and waited for the day to come. With shaking knees we banded together by the brick wall he usually shoved us up against on our mad dash for the school doors.

We vowed today would be different.

It. Was. Different.

The whole passel of younger kids waited. The minute he got off the bus he started for his stomping grounds, a cocky grin pasted across his face. When he approached the brick wall, we closed in on him.

All of us younger students surrounded him pressing him against the brick wall. My sister and I being the ring leaders stood in the center. I was the muscle, all three feet of me. (Okay, so I was one of many.) My sister was the spokesperson.

She pointed her finger up in his face, ” Not a one of us here can beat you alone, but the next time you bully one of us, we’ll beat you up together. You got that?”

He nodded and high-tailed it to the school doors, like we’d done so many times before. That day we all walked on air. The bus bully became the bullied and it felt a bit sweet. Okay, I couldn’t wipe my gap toothed grin off of my face.

Truth is, I learned a thing or two about villains from our bus bully. His power over us made us each feel trapped. We had to ride the bus. We had to walk into the school building. We had to avoid him.

Does your character feel trapped by your villain? Here’s a few ways the villain can exert power over your hero/heroine:

*Put Your Villain In A Position Of Power Over Your Character’s Job or Livelihood. The villain could be a boss, a banker in charge of their loan, a crooked leader, etc. Make the villain’s power threaten the hero/heroine’s well-being in more than just one way.

*Put Your Villain In A Position Of Power Over Your Character’s Loved Ones. This extends the feeling of powerlessness that your character experiences to even greater proportions. Is the villain a parole officer, a school employee, a social worker, etc.

*Put Your Villain In A Position Of Power Over Your Character’s Health Or Their Family’s Health. Is a doctor determining the mental health status of the character or a family member. This increases the fear for the character.

What are some other ways that a villain can exert power of a character?



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

4 thoughts on “The Power Of The Dark Side – Creating A Villain With Dangerous Power

  1. dtopliff says:

    Great parallel example & your sister’s retort is woderful. You 2 sound like quite a dynamic duo.

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    We like to think so… Some of the most amazing things can happen when we pull together.

  3. I loved this! So proud of you. Trying to think of another way a villain could exert power, but I’m dame bread today. Come back later. lol

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