Help with villain!

by Cat

Question: I am trying to write a book but I can't seem to develop the "villain" for it. My book is about a girl who wakes up and everyone is gone. And a few years later after the "disappearances" she meets another survivor. But I can't think of who/what will be the "villain". I don't want it to have zombies in it but I want it to have fighting I just don't want it to be fighting zombies. I need advice!

Answer: You do have an awful lot of options here, and it's not my place to solve this dilemma for you. However, one starting point might be to consider what genres you personally like to read. Science fiction? Paranormal? Urban fantasy? Horror? That might give you a clue as to what type of villain you would enjoy writing about.

Next, see if you can figure out what your Story Goal is. What outcome will the girl and the other survivor pursue over the course of the story? What effort will they be involved in? What problem will they try to solve?

Once you know what they are trying to achieve, your antagonist will be someone or something with a vested interested in preventing that goal from being reached.

Knowing what your villain's purpose is, try to figure out why he/she is opposed to the goal? How would it be against their interests?

The internal motivation of your villain may then suggest what they should be on the outside (alien species, paranormal, human with technology or magic, animal predator, conspiracy group, etc.) What kind of creature might have the most to gain from this situation?

If you want an antagonist your heroes can fight, then obviously he is not a force of nature or all-powerful.

Incidentally, your premise begs certain questions, which I'm guessing you're giving thought to, such as ...

Did the villain cause the disappearances (through some sort of technology or magic), or did he/she/it merely take advantage of a situation that arose from a natural disaster or similar cause (as in, for example, a story like Day of the Triffids where another species takes advantage of humans weakened by disaster)?

Are the people dead or can they come back?

Is this situation real or illusory?

Again, only you can decide.

Best of luck.

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