"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Keep or Kill a Villain?

In your current WIP or a story you just read - Is the villain kept or killed off?

If kept, why and did it work for the story?
If killed, how, and is it justified?


Unknown said...

In my current WIP I haven't reached the point of figuring out what to do with the villain, so I'm still waiting to find out if he lives or dies.

In general, though, I think it's more interesting if the villain lives, because it creates an interesting dynamic. What do you do with the villain at the end of the story? Does he go to jail, do community service, etc? What does the villain go through when he's no longer a villain to be worried about?

Jack said...

I haven't got far enough in either, but I am certain in the one I'm reading he dies. And in the one I'm writing I know he lives.

Unknown said...

Also, wanted to let you know that I linked to your post for my own blog today, which can be found here:


Nicole said...

I've done it both ways, though I'll admit it's kind of fun to carry the same villain through multiple books. Especially if he or she is deliciously evil. :)

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Hmm. Book I just finished reading, the villains are dead. In the one I'm busy editing, the villains live. In general, I would have said that in a cozy mystery they live and we are left to assume they are given due justice. But on reflection, I think they can also be tidily bumped off, thus sparing the MC the dreary reality of charges, trials, etc. (not that most writers inflict that on the readers anyway).