So, a little while back, I did a blog post on villains.(Here's the link the Part One And I promised a Part 2 because, well, I just couldn’t finish the whole thing in one non-tome-length blog post. So, here ‘tis. Writing Villains: Part Two. We last left off at villain sub-types…
So, calling Snape a “villain” is kind of innacurate, and I bristle at anyone who calls him such, because I’ve had a love for Snape ever since book 1. Even when everyone hated him, I maintained my undying love for the man. But, no matter your Snapey persuasion, he was most definitely an antagonist to Harry. The thing about Snape is, he’s a jerkface. But he’s charming. And most of all, he’s hilarious. I’d say Scar falls into this category. The intellectual, witty villains who you’d kind of like to hang out with for an hour just to see what horribly hilarious things they’d say to. And then, you could go home and cry, but it would be worth your tears. Yeah, this is them. (My personal favorite type of villain, by the way.)
D. The Villain who’s such a Bad-A That You Love Them for Being Awesome (or Terrifying.)
When we first met Klaus, who wasn’t shaking in their seats? I know I was. (Though now, I'm kind of in love with him, despite the fact that he'd, well, the pinnacle of all evil.) This dude is crazy, and so COMPETENT and terrifying and awesome that you know, if he intends to kill someone, they’re dead. Period. I love a competent, terrifying villain. If that doesn’t raise the stakes, nothing will. A villain who can get the job done, always, and their job is ruining your MC’s life somehow? Scary times. (Also in this category, Malifecent, Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs)
E. The Baddie Who Gets Redeemed
(Do not imagine him pansily yelling NOOOOO in this picture. He didn't so it in the original.)
Okay, I admit, I love a crazy villain who gets redeemed. Good old Vader tops that list. The one who, in his final hour, shows that he is in fact, a compassionate human being. I was told once that in a story even your bad guys should get better by the end. Because everyone wants to see people become better people. Now, I don’t agree with this in all cases. BUT, it can be a powerful tool. And who doesn’t love a redemption story? This also serves to make your villain not just a villainous tool, but a human.
THERE ARE VILLAINS who do not fit these types. But usually they don’t get much screen time. Cause you hate them. If I had to see Dolores Freaking Umbridge one more time in Harry Potter, I was gonna flip my lid. Now, Voldemort, I can roll with, but look:
Just looking at her pisses me off. I don’t know how I survived looking for a gif of her. And for the love of all things bright and beautiful, if your villain is as freaking hateable as Dolores, LET YOUR FANS BE HAPPY AND DO SOMETHING AWFUL TO THEM. PREFERABLY DEATH. Otherwise, they will still be rage-y about it years later. *grumbles*
3. Final Point-Get Into Your Villain's Head.
Personally, I love villains so much that my favorite thing ever is not necessarily when people say “Awww, your MC!” I love it when people say “GAH. I HATE THAT VILLAIN SO MUCH.” Dunno why. I’m twisted, I suppose. But ultimately, your villain is a character too. He or she is a person, just like all your other characters, and your goal is to create a person.
Just as your main character is consistent in the way she thinks and why she does what she does, so should be your villain. Don’t have him burn down and orphanage unless that person would truly burn down an orphanage. And if that messes with your plot, well, fix your villain or fix your plot. But it’s all about consistency, getting into your villain’s head enough to make him real.
And that’s all she wrote.