A villain’s name should evoke fear, or at least some sort of visceral response. Think He Who Shall Not Be Named: Voldemort, Hannibal Lecter, and Darth Vader. There’s an eerie feeling that sweeps over the top of my shoulders and tingles down my spine when I think of those characters. These are villain names to remember. There are many other villains that linger in my mind as I walk to my car under the cloak of darkness with an ever watchful eye.
However, not all villains are creepy or serial killers. Some are villainous because they refuse to acknowledge their faults. They refuse to change, even at the expense of others (think Mayor Murray Hamilton in Jaws). His unwillingness to change led to disaster (the death of several vacationers), which ultimately led to his figurative death as the town leader.
Last week, I asked for help in naming one of my villains. Of course, you all are fantastic and inspirational. Besides your comments, I had Facebook and loop suggestions. And I’m pretty sure of the name I’m going to choose for my greedy banker.
This past week, I searched the internet and found some fantastic resources regarding naming the villain. My future go-to site is Names to Run Away from Really Fast. This is a humorous site with many suggestions and additional links.
Fritinancy has an awesome naming website for all kinds of characters. But her What to Name the Villain suggests naming a villain ending in the letter “R”. Think Hitler, Lecter, Luthor. Also including the sound “Mor” since Mort is Latin for death (Voldemort).
To address your villain as simply evil using a first and last unspecific name, you might find Your Villain Name useful. This mix and match image gives first and last slang names like Dark Lord, Invisible Claw, or Poison Mutant. These names can be interchanged. For example: Dark Mutant, Invisible Lord, and Poison Claw.
To come up with an original name, you might try The Name Generator for Writer’s List. My character Brian became Cruil. All I did was plug in that my character was a villain, scribe, male and out popped Cruil.
I’ve decided to rename Brian Banker to Clark Deofol–though I’m still toying with Cash Deofol… (Inspired by Catherine Chant’s surname of Cashmore). The surname Clark means clerk or scribe. Deofol means devil. So he’s a clerk devil. (Big thank you to Michael Mendershausen for his surname contribution). Clark’s character won’t have you glancing behind you when you walk to your car, however, but in the future you may spy your banker/property manager through narrowed eyes.
Next week, I’m going to ask you to help me name the heroine. I’ll tell you more about her backstory then. And I’ll bring you several additional sites to research you hero/heroine names.