A villain’s theme song is iconic, even if what the song may be varies widely. Disney alone can attest to that. The theme song has a weird non-place in writing in that reading is simultaneously silent and quite noisy. When I read a great book, I can hear the storm outside the window as the varied character’s voices discuss the plan, interrupted by a dog barking. Until my baby starts crying and then all I hear is that.
Unlike a movie, when a character walks into a room, music does not start playing. Writing that in to a serious piece of fiction would be really weird. However, if I were to read something with Darth Vader in it, I’d still hear dun, dun, dun, dun dundun, dun dundun. Provided I wasn’t reading an insanely crappy piece of fanfiction, that wouldn’t be written in there, his song wouldn’t be mentioned at all, but it’s a part of him.
However, the movie came first. Unless you are a songwriter too (or know one or hire one), your villain’s theme song, if he ever gets one, will come after the fact if your story is made into a movie. All the same, songs have a certain power and they can assist greatly in your writing. On working a chapter about a place called Strikeslip City, my writing group again and again complained that they couldn’t get the feel of the place, that it always felt white-boxy, that my MC wasn’t shining properly in his home environment. You know how I finally got that chapter up to snuff? I built myself a playlist of songs that made me think of Strikeslip City, that could get me in the mood and in the zone. I tucked in earbuds and listened to those six or so songs over and over all trough writing and the next time I submitted Strikeslip’s chapter, my writing group felt it was much, much stronger.
Pick a song for your villain if you can’t make one up, one that makes you really feel like he or she is there. Pick something that your villain would listen to, or that would play as they make their first screen appearance (don’t tell me you never fantasize your favorite scenes redone as a movie. It’s okay, we all do it) or that would indicate that your villain is near. Maybe write lyrics to your villain’s song – I might not always have super-high opinions of Disney villains for their forced weaknesses but I can’t deny their songs are awesome.
If you make rhymes like “sordid” and “rewarded” you automatically get 20 coolbucks. They are redeemable at your local…coolbucksredeemingplace. For pie.
Listen to the song while you write. Music makes everything cooler.
And hey, maybe one day, you’ll be able to see your villain move to a theme song on the big screen.