I’m working on motivating my villain(ess) and have found 39 possible motivations. I’m sure there are more, but these should jump start your imagination. They are presented here with a statement from the villain(ess)’s point of view.
- Romance: I want to marry the princess.
- Revenge – ruin a hero: I want to ruin the King.
- To distinguish oneself: I want the princess to respect me.
- To fit in/gain acceptance: I want to attend the princess’ coronation and eat at her table.
- Justice: The king killed my mother, so the king must die.
- Greed – get rich: I want to steal everything from the King’s treasury.
- Fear: I am afraid that our lands will be stripped bare by this evil king.
- Desperation: If something doesn’t change in the next week, I will be executed.
- Social cohesion: Us zombies need to stick together.
- Desire to better oneself: I was born a peasant, but I will die a king.
- Power to achieve a goal: I must be king, so I can change the laws about owning property.
- Escape destiny: At birth, a prophet said I would kill the king; however, I am stealing enough money to escape to another country and avoid that destiny.
- Achieve destiny: At birth, a prophet said I would kill the king; and that’s my plan.
- Persecution: Growing up in a wheelchair has been hell.
- Rivalry: Prince John wants to marry the Princess, but she’s mine.
- Discovery: I will find out the king’s darkest secret and use it against him.
- Ambition: I want. . . everything!
- Survival (deliverance): In the midst of this civil war, I will survive.
- Self-sacrifice: Someone must stop this evil king and I’ve decided to step up and do it.
- Love: The princess has stolen my heart; so, I’ll steal her.
- Hate: The princess is an evil woman; when she becomes my wife, I’ll make her suffer.
- Conspiracy: I’ve gathered twelve good men to help me overthrow this king.
- Honor: Men from my city never back down, even if it costs me everything.
- Dishonor: Men from my city are idiots; I’ll never do things the “right” way.
- Unnatural affection: I want to marry the princess and take the queen as a lover.
- Catastrophe: A volcano is going to erupt and when it does, I’ll plunder the city.
- Grief and loss: When my mother died, I lost all interest in doing good.
- Rebellion: I’m the leader of the guerrilla forces.
- Betrayal: I was engaged to the princess, and then she married Prince John.
- Spread hate and fear: I love hate. Hate, hate, hate.
- Corrupt everyone: Come join me as I rob the king.
- Control the kids: If those kids make noise one more time at midnight, I’ll get ’em.
- Leave me in peace: I never wanted to leave my home town, but since you’ve made me, I’ll show you what’s what.
- Recover what is lost: The king took my mother’s locket as tribute, and if it’s the last thing I ever do, I’ll get it back.
- Save humanity: To save humanity, I’ll have to kill the whole army.
- serve a master (ex. The Fuhrer): I’ll follow King George anywhere, even if it means killing King Phillip.
- Destroy: Ha! Ha! Ha! I love to burn down houses.
- Rule part of the world: I want to be King of the Mermaids.
- Rule all of the world: I will rule the Earth.
3 responses to “39 Villain Motivations”
[…] 39 Villain Motivations | Fiction Notes […]
[…] problemo, right? Bad guys aren’t nearly as complicated as good guys. Or are they? I would argue they’re more complicated, if only because they’re harder for most of us to understand (or maybe just admit we […]
[…] articles with tips and tricks: NaNo tips, survival guide, quotes for writing inspiration, villain motivation, making time to write, writing the first […]