Pantster v. Plotter Villains

If you’re a writer you know them as plotters and pantsters. Those scribes who painstakingly plot out each and every twist and turn their novel will take before pen even touches the page. Versus the ones who have no idea what’s they’re going to have for dinner let alone where their hero will end up at the beginning of chapter 3.

In forensic psychology we refer to them as disorganized versus organized: the killers that have a plan, and who follow it meticulously – even if the plan only makes sense to themselves. Completely unlike the killers who act at the spur of the moment or because the voices in their head told them to.

Gamers have lawful versus chaotic. Sets of rules versus a swirling mess of morals.

No matter what background you come from you have words for it: guidelines that separate people and characters into columns based on their actions. Because at one time or another, we have all asked ourselves: Is there a method for their madness?

Our podcast last week dealt with this exclusively. Are villains more diabolical if they’re predictable – those who have a plan and plan for every contingency – or if they are reactionary?

What do you think?

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