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Inspiration Decks Character Traits 2023-12-06 00:00

Character Trait: Fiendish

Character Trait Fiendish

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait "fiendish" refers to someone or something that is extremely wicked, cruel, or malicious. It is a trait often associated with villains or antagonists in stories, as their actions are often fueled by their fiendish nature. A fiendish character may take pleasure in causing harm or chaos, and may exhibit a lack of empathy or remorse for their actions. However, it's important to note that a well-written fiendish character should not be one-dimensional - they should have a backstory, motivations, and flaws that make them complex and interesting to readers.

Contents:
  1. Possible causes of being fiendish
  2. Behaviors associated with being fiendish
  3. Attitudes associated with being fiendish
  4. Thoughts and struggles associated with being fiendish
  5. Emotions associated with being fiendish
  6. Facial expressions associated with being fiendish
  7. Body language associated with being fiendish
  8. Behaviors associated with being fiendish
  9. Growth and evolution of fiendish characters
  10. Stereotypes of fiendish characters to avoid
  11. Negatives of being fiendish
  12. Positives of being fiendish
  13. Verbal expressions of fiendish characters
  14. Relationships of fiendish characters
  15. Examples from books of characters who are fiendish
  16. Writing exercises for writing fiendish characters

Possible causes of being fiendish

You might want to weave these into your character's back story to build a more believable character.

  • Lack of empathy or compassion towards others
  • Feeling powerless or victimized, leading to a desire for control or revenge
  • Being raised in an environment that values aggression or manipulation
  • Traumatic experiences or abuse in childhood or adulthood
  • Mental health issues such as narcissism, sociopathy, or psychopathy
  • A desire for power, wealth, or fame at any cost
  • Being exposed to negative or violent influences in media or real life
  • Unresolved anger or resentment towards a specific person or group
  • A belief in the idea that the end justifies the means

Behaviors associated with being fiendish

You may be able to show your character's trait of fiendish by using these.

  • Showing no remorse for causing harm or pain to others
  • Using fear and intimidation to control others
  • Being willing to sacrifice others for personal gain
  • Displaying a lack of empathy for others' feelings
  • Seeking revenge for perceived wrongs
  • Enjoying the suffering of others
  • Deceiving and lying to achieve goals
  • Plotting and scheming to achieve one's desires
  • Manipulating others to achieve personal gain

Attitudes associated with being fiendish

You may be able to show fiendish through their attitudes.

  • Calculating
  • Cold-hearted
  • Self-serving
  • Sadistic
  • Vengeful
  • Greedy
  • Narcissistic
  • Ambitious
  • Ruthless
  • Deceptive
  • Merciless
  • Egotistical
  • Manipulative
  • Cunning

Thoughts and struggles associated with being fiendish

Here are some ideas for things your fiendish character may think or struggle with.

  • They may have a tendency to be selfish and put their own desires above the needs of others.
  • A Fiendish character may also struggle with feelings of guilt or shame over their actions, but find it difficult to make amends or change their behavior.
  • They may have a strong sense of pride and refuse to admit when they are wrong or need help.
  • They may have a desire for power and control, leading them to manipulate and deceive those around them.
  • Fiendish characters often struggle with their own morality and the consequences of their actions.
  • Fiendish characters may also struggle with a deep-seated anger or resentment towards others, which fuels their actions.
  • They may have a tendency towards sadism or cruelty, finding pleasure in the suffering of others.
  • A Fiendish character may feel isolated or misunderstood, leading them to lash out or distance themselves from others.

Emotions associated with being fiendish

Here are some ideas for emotions your fiendish character may experience.

  • Cunning
  • Arrogant
  • Selfish
  • Manipulative
  • Ruthless
  • Cruel
  • Sadistic
  • Contemptuous
  • Malicious
  • Vindictive
  • Merciless
  • Cold-hearted
  • Deceitful
  • Insidious

Facial expressions associated with being fiendish

Here are some facial expressions your fiendish character may exhibit.

  • Tightly clenched jaw
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Curling of the lip
  • Scowling or frowning
  • Sneering or smirking
  • Narrowed eyes
  • Furrowed brow
  • Raised chin
  • Grinding teeth

Body language associated with being fiendish

Here is some body language your fiendish character may exhibit.

  • Clenching of the jaw
  • Leaning forward with an aggressive posture
  • Gesturing with sharp, jerky movements
  • Pacing back and forth
  • Narrowing of the eyes
  • Tension in the shoulders
  • Tapping fingers impatiently
  • Smirking or sneering
  • Crossing legs with one foot bouncing
  • Folding arms across the chest
  • Pointing with a single finger

Behaviors associated with being fiendish

Here are some behaviors your fiendish character may exhibit.

  • Displaying a lack of empathy for others' feelings
  • Deceiving and lying to achieve goals
  • Manipulating others to achieve personal gain
  • Plotting and scheming to achieve one's desires
  • Showing no remorse for causing harm or pain to others
  • Seeking revenge for perceived wrongs
  • Being willing to sacrifice others for personal gain
  • Enjoying the suffering of others
  • Using fear and intimidation to control others

Growth and evolution of fiendish characters

Here are some ways that your fiendish character may grow and evolve over time.

  • They may form unexpected alliances or relationships with characters they previously considered enemies or rivals.
  • A Fiendish character could potentially become more cunning and manipulative as they develop their skills in deception and intrigue.
  • The character could experience a moral dilemma or crisis of conscience, leading them to question the ethics of their actions and potentially seek redemption or atonement.
  • The character could experience a personal tragedy or loss, leading them to reevaluate their priorities and motivations.
  • The Fiendish character may develop a sense of empathy or compassion towards others, leading them to question their previously selfish or malicious actions.
  • They may begin to question their loyalty to evil or their alignment as they confront situations that challenge their beliefs and values.

Stereotypes of fiendish characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical fiendish character like these examples.

  • Avoid making the Fiendish character too powerful or invincible, as this can lead to a lack of tension and conflict in the story.
  • Avoid giving the Fiendish character a henchman-like demeanor, where they are only following orders and lack any personal agency or agenda.
  • Avoid making the Fiendish character one-dimensional and solely evil without any other qualities or motivations.
  • Avoid making the Fiendish character too predictable or cliché, with actions and dialogue that are overly familiar and lacking in originality.
  • Avoid making the Fiendish character excessively violent or sadistic without any explanation or context for their behavior.

Negatives of being fiendish

Here are some potential negatives of being fiendish. Note: These are subjective and some might also be seen as positives depending on the context.

  • They may lack empathy and be callous towards others, enjoying causing pain and suffering.
  • They may be impulsive and reckless, acting without thinking of the consequences and putting themselves and others in danger.
  • They may be arrogant and overconfident, thinking they are above the law and untouchable.
  • Fiendish characters tend to be selfish and self-centered, prioritizing their own interests above others.
  • Fiendish characters can be prone to anger and aggression, lashing out violently and without reason.
  • Fiendish characters can be manipulative and deceitful, using others for their own gain and not hesitating to betray them when it suits their purpose.

Positives of being fiendish

Here are some potential positives of being fiendish. Note: These are subjective and some might also be seen as negatives depending on the context.

  • Fiendish characters tend to be cunning and strategic, able to think several steps ahead of their opponents.
  • Fiendish characters are not afraid to take risks and try new things, which can lead to great success.
  • They can be very resourceful and creative in finding solutions to problems.
  • They tend to be very confident and self-assured, which can be inspiring to those around them.
  • They can be very focused and determined, able to push through obstacles and achieve their goals.
  • Fiendish characters often have a unique perspective on the world and can provide interesting and thought-provoking insights.
  • Fiendish characters can be very persuasive and charismatic, able to manipulate others to do their bidding.
  • They often have a strong sense of self-preservation and will do whatever it takes to survive or succeed.

Verbal expressions of fiendish characters

Here are some potential expressions used by fiendish characters.

  • Insults and put-downs aimed at undermining others' confidence
  • Threatening language used to intimidate and control
  • Sarcastic remarks and biting wit
  • Blaming language that shifts responsibility onto others
  • Provocative language used to incite anger or provoke a reaction
  • Condescending language that belittles others' abilities
  • Scheming language that reveals plans for underhanded actions
  • Cynical comments that express a lack of faith in humanity
  • Manipulative language to deceive or coerce others

Relationships of fiendish characters

Here are some ways that being fiendish could affect your character's relationships.

  • A willingness to use violence or intimidation to get their way
  • A desire for control and power over others, often leading to abusive behavior
  • An ability to charm or seduce others to get what they want
  • A tendency to form alliances or partnerships that benefit them, but which they may betray if it serves their interests
  • A tendency to hold grudges and seek revenge on those who have wronged them
  • Manipulative behavior, using others for their own gain
  • A tendency to isolate themselves from others, either because they don't trust them or because they prefer to work alone
  • A lack of empathy for others, and a willingness to harm them without remorse
  • A tendency to lie or deceive those around them

Examples from books of characters who are fiendish

  • Iago from "Othello" by William Shakespeare
  • Sauron from "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Voldemort from "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Hannibal Lecter from "The Silence of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris
  • Annie Wilkes from "Misery" by Stephen King
  • Captain Ahab from "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville
  • The Joker from "Batman" comics by DC Comics
  • Count Dracula from "Dracula" by Bram Stoker
  • Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey

Writing exercises for writing fiendish characters

Here are some writing exercises you might try for learning to write fiendish characters.

  • Write a scene where your fiendish character manipulates or deceives someone. Focus on their tactics and how they use their charm or cunning to get what they want.
  • Start by identifying what makes a character "fiendish" - is it their malicious intentions, their cunning nature, or their willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals? Once you have a clear understanding of the trait, you can begin to develop it in your characters.
  • Write a scene where your fiendish character is confronted by someone who sees through their lies or schemes. How do they react? Do they become defensive, or do they double down on their tactics?
  • Write a monologue from your fiendish character's perspective. This can help you get inside their head and understand their thought process.
  • Create a character profile for your fiendish character. Think about their backstory, their motivations, and what drives them. Use this information to inform their actions and dialogue throughout the story.
  • Write a scene where your fiendish character is forced to confront the consequences of their actions. How do they react? Do they feel remorse, or do they justify their actions to themselves?
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