15.28: Small Evils

Your Hosts: Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard

Small evils? Yes, please! This episode isn’t about writing the big villainy of world domination, but about focusing on the more relatable villainy of small evils—the little crimes, the minor antagonisms—which can be the key to connecting the reader to the book.

Liner Notes: The deadly nightshade incident Howard described is something he mentioned on Twitter as well. If you need a concrete example of a small evil and/or an external cost, there it is!

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Base a villain on yourself

The Kingdom of Liars, by Nick Martel

5 thoughts on “15.28: Small Evils”

  1. Another example the POV determining who is the villain is Fire Emblem Three Houses. There are four routes that you can take in the game, each focused on a different Lord. When you chose one they became the protagonist and the others antagonists. The thing is the characterization is good enough one can kinda see why the others make the choices they do if you know their motivations.

  2. The bit at the end where you talk about the journey of a villain from normal person to evil, along with the homework, reminded me of the song “How Bad Can I Be?” from the Lorax. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s probably up on youtube somewhere, but, over the course of the song, it takes the Onceler from a small business owner who managed to start a fad and taste his first bit of success to the CEO of a vast corporate empire.

    It’s pretty interesting to watch the full journey of someone going from a fairly normal person to a greedy asshole crammed into a few minutes. The song is pretty catchy too.

  3. This week, Brandon, Victoria, Dan, and Howard took a look at the small evils that we all enjoy, and how those can grow into nicely nuanced villains. Dolores Umbridge, the Joker, Magneto, Zuko, Clark Kent in Smallville with red kryptonite, Nevermore, Oceans 11-13, deadly nightshade in the grape vines, and Vulture in Spiderman Homecoming… all the villains we love to hate. You can read all about it in the transcript, available now in the archives.

  4. Brandon, every time you mention Magneto i’m convinced anew that you’re the best person ever and at our side. I’m awfully late, bc i watched X men prequels like, half a year ago, but i feel so strongly for Magneto. Maybe he doesn’t fit exactly into that small evils theme, he wants to exterminate humans after all XD so he should be more on the level of Voldemorts and others, but for me the motivation is huge thing. He’s trying to protect his people and that’s something we deeply understand. Also those few short scenes that show his Jewish origin – that got me really hard and suddenly made him so relatable, even more relatable than Professor X honestly. Idk, maybe it’s evil to expect worst and to actually believe you own experiences, but then i have my villainy trait to do a homework with. (Thank you Victora for that one, it’s really cool, and all those things you say about writing villains resonates with me so much).

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