When I outline the bad guys for my novels, it often reads like a police rap sheet and a psychological profile. I cannot overstate the effectiveness for research and outlining in fiction writing. There are those little pieces of nuggets that you can weave into the story that gives it the added realism and authenticity. These nuggets are like pieces of gold for me, and I love hunting for them.
Research into creating new characters works well for me because I love learning new things that I didn’t know yesterday, but it can be a daunting task if you don’t enjoy the process. I’ve managed to streamline my development a bit, so that I don’t get overwhelmed with too much information and avoid a major time void sucking the life out of me.
This is where I create the actual physical qualities of the character, what he/she looks like, mannerisms, specific characteristics, how he/she dresses, and even habits. I begin to get a real picture in my mind how this person looks, walks, and talks. It’s a writer’s character rap sheet with an added dimension.
Now it’s getting to be fun. This is where I begin to develop who they are with a history, life experiences, family, work environment, criminal activity, relationships, living conditions, education, and anything that wasn’t addressed with the physical area.
Now, I have an actual image of the character and some background information. It’s endless in creating the mind of a bad guy, and you can have so much fun with this area of writing. This is no doubt my favorite step to creating a bad guy. I like to have these characters answer a few questions for me, like what they would do if confronted with certain situations. This also includes their internal and external conflicts. Many of my bad guys are serial killers, so they are skewed with distorted perceptions, beliefs, and lack of impulse control. How fun is that?