Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A #WickedWednesdays Glimpse into the DNA of Evil Characters by Addison Brae #villain

Please join me in welcoming back Addison Brae to Discover... She always has a good take on subjects, and she's tackled one of my favorites--villains. Villain on!

Who are your most hated villains? My most recent favorites are Walter White from Breaking Bad, Gus Fring from Better Call Saul, Serena Joy from The Handmaid’s Tale, Kilgrave from Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and Marlo Stansfield of The Wire. All of these characters have three things in common. They’re authentic. They’re interesting and unique. And they’re evil to the point of having no soul, even though they may earn your sympathy on occasion.

Authentic, interesting and evil make up the DNA of an effective villain. Then match the villains’ traits with what scares the main character most. The combination has the effect of oil and water or two like ends of magnets and hopefully makes it hard for readers to put the book down.

Developing villains is fun. Think about all the bad bosses you’ve had mashed together. Combine characteristics, traits, and wicked things they did. That’s very similar to how Kim, Gillian’s boss at her first real job at an accounting firm, came about in Becker Circle. Gillian has a horrible fear of controlling people and how they belittle her. Here’s how her fear plays out during a staff meeting. It’s after Gillian tells her boss she suspects embezzlement after auditing a client’s records.
“I know, Gillian, you’re doing your job.” Kim turns back to the table. “But someone with more experience needs to handle this one.” She pauses and scans the faces around the conference table. Everyone’s looking somewhere else but at her. “Get with Bryan this afternoon. He’ll take it from here.”

What? My body goes hotter than a raging bonfire. I found the problem but I’m not smart enough to finish? She’s just like Connor—controlling and always cutting me down. And Bryan? He’s about a minute more experienced than I am. My face must be as red as it feels because everyone’s looking at me. Sara’s expression reaches across the table like a warm hug. I take a few slow deep breaths and force a smile. “Okay. Bryan, come by and I’ll explain everything to you.”

He does. And I do. And whatever.

Kim is one of the kinder wicked characters that show up in different parts of Gillian’s life in Becker Circle. She also has a love interest with multiple personalities and few other evil people she encounters while trying to solve the murder she witnessed. The most fun part of writing great scenes for mean characters is how the author can write the ending they want. This is especially satisfying in scenes based on truth—events that you always wish you had that second chance for a different outcome.

Today’s Wicked Wednesday and a perfect day to change a bad outcome to something fantastic. I challenge you to chase down something wicked and turn it into good.

Connect with Addison Brae on her website, Tirgearr Publishing, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. You can find Becker Circle on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords.  

About Becker Circle
My first and only boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. My name’s Gillian, and I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub smack in drama central where most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me—at a huge price.

A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and I intend to prove it. We dig deeper, grow closer, and make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer. Watch the trailer.   


  1. Thanks so much for letting me share my villain DNA secrets, Brenda. I'm in the home stretch of writing the Becker Circle sequel now. A few of the wicked characters from the first book reappear, but there's a new even more evil character that gives me the chills when I write about him. We all love our wicked characters! ~Addison