Monday, March 30, 2015

Creating Nefarious Organizations

You’ve got a space in your novel for a dastardly evil, but nothing is immediately leaping out at you. However, will your protagonist have something to work against, if you can’t manage to get some evil on paper? This is where a few salient questions will do you well. You know the standard questions: Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why. By just answering those questions you can come up with the best evil for your manuscript. Start with any of the above questions and work through them solidly to be able to flesh out your evil organization.

Are your evil doers a special race? The same race as your protagonist? Rich or poor? There are many facets to who your evil could be. This is sometimes the hardest to answer because it seems as if you must come up with the ideal evil candidate, or even the leader of the organization. You don’t have to create the leader now, in fact, it will probably do you better to create a foot soldier so that you have some idea of the day to day operations of your evil crew. For example: Your evil doers could be an alien race that is assimilating into the human population. That gives you a quick snapshot of who they are and it even gives you a hint as to what they’re doing.

What are they doing? We managed to get a little glimpse in our example of what our evil was doing while crafting the ‘who’. That’s one of the great ways this works. Building one facet will give you some inkling of the other facets as well.

Do they have a timeline for what they’re doing? Do they have to defeat the protagonist by a prophesied full moon? This will affect how your organization moves. If they have a time limit they are working against, they will be moving much more quickly than if they have all the time in the world to complete their goals. You might even consider giving your organization a time crunch in order to get them working on their evil planning a bit sooner.

Where are they doing their evil? Are they smack dab in the middle of a city hiding in plain sight or are they hidden away from mortal eyes so that they can do their evil more effectively. Having some idea of your evil’s hideout and environs can help you to build backwards into knowing who they are or what they’re doing.

Why is your evil organization evil? Why are they doing what they’re doing? These things are integral in truly knowing how they should be going about doing what they’re doing.

If you can’t figure out anything else, you may know the how of what your evil organization is doing. It will be something interesting perhaps against the protagonist. They may be creating a monster in order to destroy the city. This will offer you a glimpse into other facets of the organization.

Each of these questions can be answered separately or together in order to build from the ground up your nefarious organization.

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