How to Write Complex Female Villains

Women are continuously fighting for gender equality and although it may feel easy to write a heroic female character, creating a complex female villain can be a little tougher. Not wanting to play into stereotypes or perceived weaknesses, it’s understandable why some writers struggle to write impactful villains that don’t offend female readers.

Use Sexuality to Your Advantage

Female villains are often portrayed as sexy, alluring and tend to use their bodies and beauty to trick men. While overused, there is a right way to use sexuality effectively. Instead of your villain using her sexuality as a way to distract her victim, emphasize just how powerful a woman’s sexuality can be. Keep your female villains in control throughout the entire story by keeping her sophisticated and focused on power over sex.

  • DON’T dress your character in a skimpy outfit to distract men.
  • DO use the art of flirting to outsmart your villain’s opponent.

Don’t Use Romance As Motivation

If you want to write a compelling and believable female villain, don’t rely on a star-crossed romance to lead the story and set your villain’s motivations. Make your villain passionate about something other than a relationship or the potential for a new romance by creating storylines about family, friends, secrets, loss, etc.

Love can be a factor without being the sole source that drives a woman mad. Layered characters will keep your readers on their toes.

Here are a few motive ideas to get you started:   See More . . . 



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