Why Does Every Story Have a Villain?
In Waking the Dead, John Eldredge writes:
Little Red Riding Hood is attacked by a wolf. Dorothy must face and bring down the Wicked Witch of the east…Frodo is hunted by the Black Riders…Beowulf kills the monster Grendel…Saint George kills the Dragon. The children who stumbled into Narnia are called upon by Aslan to battle the White Witch and her armies…
So why does every story have a villain?
“…Because yours does.”
What are the villains in your life, your Story? Addictions, vices, work, bad habits, crazy people… As Eldredge writes, we are “born into a world at war.” He is coming from the perspective of Evil that was long ago unleashed in the world and seeks to undermine all that is good.
Our stories have villains because our stories are inspired by life. Fiction is only fact in different clothes.
Why Fantasy Fiction?
Fantasy author R.A. Salvatore answers this in The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction:
Perhaps more than any other genre, fantasy is about the hero’s journey. In a world of seven billion people, with wars I can’t stop and legislation I can’t even read, the idea of one person being able to make a difference, the idea of one man or woman grabbing a sword and defeating the dragon and saving the village is quite appealing.
And perhaps it will inspire a hero or two in our own world to rise up.
Why do people love fictional stories and adventures so much? Because they mirror what is inside us. A desire to do to great things and go beyond the horizon. Do what we were meant to be. There is destiny written on our souls for us to choose or ignore. Jason Clark writes in his book Surrendered and Untamed on this discovery:
I no longer desire to be on the fringe, yet neither will I try to fit the mold. I’ve come to see there’s swimming against the stream just to swim against the stream. And then there’s swimming against the stream like the salmon do — to give others life so others might live — and to get back home. You face predators along the way and the trip is exhausting and you die a thousand deaths, but you do it for the glory and the story.