Welcome to my blog - a collection of thoughts and musings on the world of writing, books and all those wordy type things.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Writing A Good Baddie

It's often said that 'baddies' can be the most fun to write, and if the latest offering from the James Bond stable, 'Skyfall' is anything to go by, the writers must have had an absolute ball!

And don't worry, there are no spoilers here!

Silva has the required sinister undertones (and shockingly bad hair) for a satisfying baddie but he also had a personality. Albeit one with a rather warped view of things but it's still there for all to see. He isn't just nasty for nasty's sake. He isn't a caricature of a baddie as some have been - Jonathan Pryce's media mogul in 'Tomorrow Never Dies', springs to mind for that one. Unlike that film, Skyfall's writers have actually managed to create a likeable baddie. It's fun when he's on screen, even though he's doing terrible things - we want to see what he's going to get up to next - and how he's going to react to the attempts to thwart him. Of course, credit must go to Javier Bardem for making those writers' words come to life so well.

Of course, we have to be careful not to make the badddie TOO likeable. We don't want him to succeed in his dastardly plan after all! But we do want him (or her!) to be interesting, and we do want him to be an admirable and worthy opponent for our hero (or heroine). If our hero is a genius and the baddie can barely remember his own name, it's hardly a challenge. Of course we want things to end well, but a bit of struggle, whether that be mental, physical or both, to get to that point is required to make us want to keep turning the page (or watching the film).

I'd highly recommend taking a trip to see 'Skyfall' if you haven't already for a chance to see a really 'good' baddie!

So, any favourite baddies spring to mind for you?


  1. Skyfall was great and Silva is a brilliant baddie. Bond baddies are really good sometimes, the obvious ones are Goldfinger, Scaramanga and of course Blofeld. Some of the baddies in the Batman movies are good too, I love Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent/Twoface and Jack Nicholson as The Joker.

    I never felt Moriarty was a great baddie, maybe he is just too shadowy and unknown.

    Disney had some pretty scary baddies, I am really looking forward to seeing Maleficent next year.

    I think my favourite baddie is Grima Wormtongue from the Lord of The Rings trilogy because you get a sense that without Sauron he might have been a good guy.

  2. I love writing baddies and reading about 'good' ones. The ones in murder mysteries are often good examples as they can't be too obviously bad, but the reader does need a few pointers that they're not quite as innocent as they seem.


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