1. TheDarkWriter
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    TheDarkWriter Active Member

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    When is the best time to introduce a villain?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheDarkWriter, Aug 2, 2012.

    I'm trying to think of a good moment to introduce my villain I keep thinking chapter one is the best time because this way the reader can get a feel for who all the players are. I figure I should give the readers a glimpse at him since this isn't the first book villain but rather the villain for the whole story kind of like the guy behind the scenes. However one of my concerns is that if I go this route the readers might not care about villain one enough so what do you think?
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Depending on your story and your villain , you could ,maybe, create a buzz for the reader by mentioning the villain , before he actually
    appears.
    That way you can spark anticipation without detracting from your mc.
     
  3. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I didn't put mine into until 8-10k into the story, because it allowed me to establish the main character and let her be known before adding another catalyst. That's just me, doesn't mean it'll work for everyone else.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no correct answer. You could have the villain appear in the first page, or in the final chapter. It depends on the story, and on what you intend to accomplish.
     
  5. Bell City Fires
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    Bell City Fires Member

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    I have a theory that the best villains are just that because of their relationship to the protagonist. Feel free to spend the time making the reader understand the protagonist and they will care more about the person standing in their way. Just please do note, theories are not facts.
     
  6. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    This.

    In addition, it's also useful to remember that "introducing the villain" can mean any number of different things. It might mean that we meet the villain face-to-face for the first time, but it could also mean that we meet the fear he causes in other people or the damage and destruction he leaves in his wake. So by using a somewhat looser definition of "introduction," you can give the reader plenty to chew on about this dastardly person long before he ever sets foot on the page.
     
  7. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    And sometimes he's someone you'd never expect. My villain seems to be a good guy, a normal person, until things get opened up, somewhat James Bond style (without the initial suspicion as is the case in those movies). But once he's fully exposed, things get interesting. Just writer's choice.
     
  8. Juganhut
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    Juganhut Banned

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    I like introducing my villians when my characters are at their lowest (Or atleast they think they are at their lowest).

    Another good time is when things are going smooth, a bit to smooth. Villian comes in, ruins the party, now everyone is on edge.
     
  9. GoldBat18661
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    GoldBat18661 New Member

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    It depends. The three ways that I normally go are:
    A. Have the first chapter about the antagonist, maybe not reveal their entire evil plan, but reveal bits and pieces, make the reader want to find out more.
    B. Have the first chapter full of supporting characters talking about the villian, so the reader gets a good idea about the character, then describe them in greater detail later. This doesn't even have to be the first chapter, but it should be early on in the story.
    C. Have the first chapter the protagonist's view, then describe the villian later in the book.

    However, you said that it wasn't the first book villian but the behind-the-scenes guy, so I would suggest the third one, but have the villian introduced later be the first book villian, and have the real mastermind introduced later, at the end of the book or maybe even in a sequel. It might be a good ending to have the hero discover at the very end that there's a new, more powerful villian they have to face. With this ending, if your book is good enough, the reader's will want a sequel.
     
  10. GoldBat18661
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    GoldBat18661 New Member

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    It depends. The three ways that I normally go are:
    A. Have the first chapter about the antagonist, maybe not reveal their entire evil plan, but reveal bits and pieces, make the reader want to find out more.
    B. Have the first chapter full of supporting characters talking about the villian, so the reader gets a good idea about the character, then describe them in greater detail later. This doesn't even have to be the first chapter, but it should be early on in the story.
    C. Have the first chapter the protagonist's view, then describe the villian later in the book.

    However, you said that it wasn't the first book villian but the behind-the-scenes guy, so I would suggest the third one, but have the villian introduced later be the first book villian, and have the real mastermind introduced later, at the end of the book or maybe even in a sequel. It might be a good ending to have the hero discover at the very end that there's a new, more powerful villian they have to face. With this ending, if your book is good enough, the reader's will want a sequel.
     

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