How Do I Foreshadow That a Character Is Really a Villain?

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In a series I’m currently plotting out, I have a handful of characters who claim goals, allegiances, or identities that aren’t genuine. Examples include a minor antagonist who initially presents himself as an ally of Team Good, and a member of Team Good who tries to hide his past as a minion to the villain. My question is about how to make their reveals “click” rather than appearing random. Do you have any advice about how to hint that a character isn’t what they seem, without resorting to them making obviously revealing mistakes? I don’t want them to look incompetent, nor do I want their teammates to look incompetent for not catching on to them sooner.

Thank you so much for your time!


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Five Cool Storylines That Went Nowhere

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We’ve all had the experience of reading a book or watching a show only for our favorite storyline to disappear without any resolution. Crafting a compelling plot requires an intriguing hook, strong stakes, and exciting conflict, so it’s weird when storytellers throw all that work in … read more »


Can I Make My Protagonist a Mastermind?

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Hello Mythcreants, I’ve been trying to toy with a scheming protagonist with a master plan rather than a villain with a master plan. However, I want to keep his plan largely secret, but I don’t know how to do this without irritating readers by making … read more »