10 Types Of Villains To Turn Up The Badass Factor In Your Screenwriting

Gideon's Screenwriting Tips: Now You're a Screenwriter

Here at Gideon’s screenwriting tips, I’m always looking for inventive ways for screenwriters to create different classes of villains. Are they merely the bad guys (or gals) or antagonists?

While villains are generally involved with negative behavior, this isn’t always true. They are however, directly responsible for obstructing the main character’s goal.

Sometimes their causes are noble and justified, while other times they are pure evil. It’s worth examining the backstories of your villains to give them a song motivation for their actions.

Let’s explore some different types of villain you can use in your screenplays:


These are the Lex Luthers of the film world. These villains have no sense of morality. They are cold, selfish, emotionless and unrelenting in their pursuit of death and destruction. This type of villain is sometimes called The Dark Lord. There is no grand plan, just the desire to cause mayhem. Lord…

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Reality for New Novelists

The Amazing Benefits of On-Site Research

Plan for No Plan

My day job is ghostwriting. My current project is a thriller. The culmination of the story takes place at Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Pictures, Google Maps, and other resources cannot replace the experience of being on site.

The author had personal reasons for visiting over and above the story. She wanted to connect with relatives she had never met. I had several plot points I wanted to clarify.

  • a place to hide the story’s MacGuffin
  • the best place for the killer to attack the protagonist
  • the setting for the denouement where the evil mastermind is overcome by the protagonist

Discovery Process


We arrived in the evening with no set plans other than to walk all of the archeological site of Chichen Itza. Tired and hungry we met for dinner on the terrace of our hotel and spa. The evening air was warm, musicians played guitars, our dinner was delicious. The author went to the front desk to ask if they knew any tour guides who were in her related family. The host pointed to the musicians and said that one.

A few minutes later Jaime Uh Mar Rufo joined us at our table and the rest of the trip was filled with excursions.The following morning we were up before sunrise to watch the sun come up over the Warrior Temple and the Chac-mool stone statue that held the head of the sacrificial ball team captain.


While Jaime explained the mathematics of the Kukulkan Pyramid I was searching for the spot where the MacGuffin could hide in plain sight.

We continued our walk around the main site, learned about the incredible competitive ball games between competing communities, learned to recognize repeated symbols like the serpent, the jaguar, the eagle, and the monkey. I found the place to hide the MacGuffin. And, as we were leaving we saw the guards for the archeological site clustered in one place, making it much easier for my characters to sneak in at night.

We returned to the hotel for breakfast and invited Jaime to join us. He was a non-stop source of Mayan lore. At home he and members of his family speak Mayan, not Spanish.

After breakfast we continued our tour to the old city. For the first hour, no one else was with us while we spent time at the oldest building, Akab Dzib, the house of mysterious writing. Exploring the plants and trees and the nearby sink hole I found the site where the protagonist confronts the evil antagonist and wins. Two down, one to go.

Hot and tired, we walked back and encountered the thousands of tourists that arrive each day streaming in to the archeological site. Along the trail back to the hotel, among the trees, I found the right spot for the hired killer to attack the protagonist and her group of friends.

The Extra Added Bonus

PictureJaime teaching us to count with Mayan symbols. This piece of obsidian is either zero or twenty depending on whether the curved side is up or down.

You’ll learn more from your on site visits if you are friendly and happy. Ask questions and pay attention to answers so you can ask more questions. In another article on research I talk about the mind set for being open to learning from people you meet.

Being open to what people have to share leads to deepening your knwledge. It’s the biggest benefit to doing on-site research. Because of our interest in natural healing and local plants, Jaime invited us to his home the following day to meet with his mother-in-law who is a local healer. He translated for us since she spoke no Spanish or English, only Mayan.

The neighbors were celebrating a Hesme (Mayan baby blessing) with a party afterward and we were invited. Everyone was friendly, open, and welcoming.  I met and talked with the community wise man (Jaime translating).

Stay Open to Experience

Our research trip was a brief two days on site but I gathered so much material for the story. Things I never would have thought of without being there. Staying open and communicating clearly are two skills every author needs for the surprise discoveries an on-site research trip provides.

  • Plan ahead for basics
  • Be prepared for anything
  • Stay open to offers from locals
  • Take notes
  • Take pictures

Once you are home, write your scene descriptions using the material you gather on your on-site research adventure.

Zara Altair

Zara Altair writes mysteries set in ancient Italy. Argolicus thinks he has retired, but he and his tutor, Nikolaos are drawn into puzzles, politics, and murder.

She consults with a select group of writers as The Story Bodyguard.

Meet The Author Mondays – K. C. Blackbyrn

A Father, Writer, and Logistics Wizard

This week on Meet the Author Monday, we have self published Fantasy author, K. C. Blackbyrn, who released her first book, “Stirring Power“, late last year with the paperback going live early this year. As usual, we will put my comments/questions in BLUE and KC will be in GREEN.

StirringPower.jpgKC, thank you for stopping by to visit with us today. Exciting times for you with the launch of your first book. What brought you to the literary world?
I was dedicated to the outdoors as a child, but then my mother sat me down and gave me a book to read. It was a fantasy book (I believe, as I was too young to remember properly). Ever since then, I read so much that I had glasses by age nine and the local library felt like my personal lounge. I’ve been reading libraries ever since (until I…

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Northern Lights


Here’s a very short book quiz:

  1. In which country is 10% of the population a published author?
  2. In which country did 4 million adults not read a single book for enjoyment in 2013?
  3. And in which of the two above did more than half the country’s population read at least eight books a year, with the most popular Christmas present a book?

The good news, on behalf of the British book trade, readers, non readers, children, adults, English speakers and others, Christmas celebrants and those with other faiths or none, is that the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign aims to learn from Iceland, represented by numbers 1 and 3 with the UK in between. The campaign says: Essentially, we want to inspire people to discover – and rediscover – a love of reading for pleasure.

Last night it was my pleasure to attend their gala party at the Café Royal. First, I learned how to pronounce Jol – a – bok –…

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Author Bios for Book Promotion

author bio for book promotion