Frank Weber

Amp up Story Tension: Villains have Their Moments

You know what the villain, brute, or antagonist in your story must do. But is that character believable?  Would he/she actually act that way in the real world?

At the October WWW Conference, we have the unique opportunity to hear from forensic psychologist, Frank Weber.  This award-winning true-crime author and profiler will help you create spine-tingling scenes in his presentation: Creating True to Life Characters, Situations and Tension.

WWW recently asked him, “What’s one mistake writers make about villains?”

His answer will give you plenty of ways to twist your plot…. (and your characters).

Frank Weber says…

“As a forensic psychologist, I’ve interviewed killers. A common mistake is that villains are one-hundred percent bad. Even the worst people I’ve dealt with occasionally say kind or meaningful things. 

“Gary Gillmore was a very antisocial character who had the notoriety of being the first person executed when they reinstated the death penalty.  He murdered two young fathers after robbing them, even though they complied completely with his demands. When Gillmore was on death row he received a letter from and eight-year-old boy stating, ‘I hate you with all the malice in my heart.’

“Gillmore wrote him back, ‘You’re too young to have malice in your heart. I had malice in my heart at your age, and look where I am.’

“Some murderers go for long periods of time undetected simply because they are not always evil. They always do have a moment when their lack of empathy is obvious. It’s often dismissed as, “He’s just having a bad day,” rather than honestly considering his deep psychopathology.”

No matter your genre, every story needs a villain (sometimes it’s the villain within the hero).  Frank Weber will help writers learn about forensic techniques, what they get wrong on TV, and create spine-tingling tension that will have your readers turning pages. 

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