So, I love writing fanfiction about villains. To anyone else on here who writes about villains (whether canonical or OC), what is it about them that appeals to you? What sorts of things do you prefer to do with them?6/24/2012 #1
I think that if they are easy to identify with then it helps. Plus there are some folks that we just love to hate. In my first story there is one character that I wouldn't really call her a villian but she is a thorn in the side of my OC in that story and continues to be in the following stories where both continue to play parts in them. The irony was that I planned on only having her in the story for a very small bit in the first story and didn't plan on bringing her back. The readers, however LOVED reading the interactions between Kira and Pauline. Everyone has at least one relative that you love, you just don't like them very much. That one relative that thinks that she knows what is best for everyone in her family. That is Pauline to the "T". To make things even better, she ended up being the mother-in-law of the story which can play on the typical "I hate my mother-in-law" feelings that can pop up once a person is married.
Your antagonist doesn't have really be evil to be the villian of a story.6/24/2012 . Edited 6/24/2012 #2
I like characters. I love fleshing them out, and making them unique. My characters run the gamut from innocent, good people, and contemptible evil. My thing is, I never make a pure white good, or a pure black evil -- I just don't think that way. In fact, most of my characters are more gray than most. I have yet to create a genuine good character with few imperfections. I have created one despicable character, but he was dead as the story began. But his atrocities were discovered as the story unfolded. He made Hitler look like a boy scout.
My WIP has a nasty little bad guy, and he could easily destroy the world if he's not stopped. But his thirst for power and control comes from being scorned, mocked, and rejected by the one he loved. So even though he's not sympathetic, there's at least some humanity behind the darkness.6/24/2012 #3
I like when villains have a sense of humor, the more playful the better; makes them seem all the more terrifying when they get back to their serious mood6/24/2012 #4
I'm a fan of anti-villains and the whole "good people doing bad things due to circumstance" deal. But even if they consciously choose to do evil and enjoy it, to an extent, I like exploring why and how they got to that point.6/24/2012 #5
I like so many different types of villains. Sadists and sweethearts, masters and minions, crazies and clock-punchers, bums and bad*sses. Villains who are oblivious to their villainy and villains who revel in it. Baddies in the comedic vein and bad guys in the all-too-serious vein. There's an old adage about heroes and villains: it goes something like, "Villains act, heroes react." That's not always true (especially in the case of villains in the service of other villains - also, there are those heroes who act first, although they tend to be anti-heroes), but it may get a little bit closer to their appeal. It may also be that, with a hero, one is obliged to keep them a little closer to what we want to be (unless they're anti-heroes, but then, that puts them a step closer to villains, doesn't it?) Whereas a villain is, perforce, closer to what we do not want to be...and perhaps to what we are, or what we fear we are, at some level.
I don't know, that's me rambling. As for what I like to do with them, I guess I like a "slice of life" approach, or to see them on their downtime. That was the case with my G-rated DW stories and it's the case with my M-rated Orc stories. I also like to watch them break stuff, without really realizing what they are doing, because they don't know no better or they can't make themselves be a different way.6/24/2012 . Edited 6/24/2012 #6
I prefer my villains multi-faceted, dark and seriously disturbed. I do a lot of research on the psyche of the serial killer for inspiration; taking note of MO's, triggers, behavioral causes, etc. They may not always be overtly evil at first but you definitely get the "creepy" vibe even if they come across as charming.
I also like to avoid what I call the "Scooby Doo" ending approach. What I mean by this is at the end of the story there is a long explanation by the villain about why he/she did what he did "and I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids."6/24/2012 #7
I like villains who give the heroes a good run for their money. If they're going to claim they're a threat, they'd better be one heck of a threat! At the same time, overpowered villains who beat down everyone in their way without breaking a sweat are too boring.
Whether or not the villain wins...they should be a vital part of what makes the whole story entertaining.6/24/2012 #8
I like villains who do things for a reason - i.e. villains who don't think they're evil.
The villain in one of my fandoms is a bit of a cackling bad guy - but he is the leader of a dying planet, so I tend to push "desperate" rather than "just wants to kill people". I also push "alien, and therefore doesn't think like humans".
The villain in the other one is, really, a classic cackling bad guy who just wants "stuff" and hates Our Heroes for no particular reason. No surprise that I tend not to write about him :)6/24/2012 #9
If you mean 'The Hood' - if I had eyebrows like that, I'd hate everyone and everything as well!!6/25/2012 #10
Ahhh, villains. I just love em but hate em. They need a reason to do their evil deeds and a darn good one(And like someone else said, do not do the Scooby Doo approach). I have two WIP's. One of them has a plethora of different 'villains', ranging from pirates to rivals to ancient evil emperors to a Mafia-like gang.
The other one I'm taking an awkward approach to. One of the antagonists is represented like a classical villain(You know, the Muahaha guys with curly mustaches) but is really much more in depth. He is a president and his plans are to make money by expanding the metropolis(or so it was thought), yet he is under peer pressure by an incredibly powerful mad scientist and a humanoid group of animals. Both sides are ready to take action against him but both have conflicting goals, one good and one evil. He's in a checkmate position and decides to take sides with the scientist, only to be betrayed and the entire metropolis is blown to smithereens. His intentions weren't malicious(They still caused harm) yet he is forced to ally with evil to acomplish his goal.6/25/2012 #11
That's easy. Villians are like the underdogs, yeah they are mean, bad and rotten to the core and ulitimately need to lose, but they are the driving force that makes the hero or heroine do what needs to be done to win and here are a few examples. Commander Shepard and the Reapers. The Reapers were engineered for the sole purpose of obliterating sentient life to keep it from letting a Reaper Version 2.0 from being spawned. Commander Shepard sees what the Reapers are doing and wants to stop them so that sentient life can self determinate. Harry Potter and Voldemort. Voldemort was a power hungry half blood that HATED non magicals due to the fact that his father was a non magical, and a very crappy one at that. His need to purge all non magically born witches and wizards stemmed from what his father and mother did to him. However along the way he began to fear that without him, his work would never be completed and thus made not one, or two, but seven horcruxs. In comes Harry Potter, a one year old and a prophecy stating that he will kill the Dark Lord. I honestly believe that if Voldemort had done nothing, that nothing would have happened to him and Harry would have grown up with parents, but during a war. At anyrate, He goes to kill Harry and utterly fails in every single attempt, and each time Harry comes out a little stronger each time until the final battle where it all culminates to the point that Voldemort is destroyed by Harry.6/25/2012 #12
I enjoy all kinds of villains - good people pushed by circumstances, sadists who simply enjoy causing pain to others, those with reason and those without a reason (other than their own profit). There are all kind of 'villains' in the real life. But my preferred type is the 'silent water' - those that look like a proper citizens, or even innocent and pure, so the other people would never believe they are villains and criminals. Especially if written not like a classic detective story, but from the POV of the villain. :)
If I will enjoy them depends on how well they're written - regardless the type, they have to be believable, and not just two-dimensional caricatures.6/25/2012 #13
Harry and Voldemort remind me of Darth Vader. One thing I like is how heroes can be villains and vice versa. Darth Vader(Anakin Skywalker) suffers both cases. Anakin was believed to be the chosen one when he was found by the Jedi. He was arrogant and boastful, and powerful. The Jedi began to worry as he became more sinister, his rage fuelled by the death of his mother and dark visions about his wife. In the end, he turns to the dark side and decides to take over the galaxy for himself and his wife, who refuses to support him and ends up dead. He attempts to kill his past mentor but his rage allows Kenobi to sever his limbs off, and leaves him for dead in a lava lake. His new evil master reconstructs him in a cyborg body and he becomes Darth Vader, used as a tool by his master. 25 years later he finally fulfils the prophecy of the chosen one because of his son standing up to fight the dark lord. Darth Vader saves Luke and throws his evil master off a ledge to his doom. Vader dies a few minutes later, after redeeming his past actions.6/25/2012 #14
It's complexity that makes them compelling. Lots of well-written characters can be both hero and villain depending on which side the story is told from.
The Golden Sun series of games comes to mind. In the first installment, the protagonists think they're the standard heroic party out to save the world from an unknown evil. They regularly clash with a group of baddies that contains a "traitor", and they do everything they can to prevent the bad guys from unleashing this horrible force upon the world. Then the second game switches the narrative over to the "traitor" and his party, and it turns out that this group was doing the right thing all along, even if they way some of them went about it was extreme enough to be considered evil to anyone who didn't know the truth of their goal. It was desperation that led to some of the members of the "heroic" side to behave in villainous ways, and the "bad guys" of the first party were on the wrong side only because they were misinformed of the situation. Once they learned the truth and teamed up together, there really was no villain - just a complex plot, a crapsack world, and a lot of human misunderstandings.6/25/2012 #15
|The Sky Hedgehogian Maestro
Their struggle! Society says that villains never win, that they must lose. Yet they always try. In a manner, you feel for them. At the same time, because they're generally of the negative lot, they get to use and wear the cool stuff shamelessly. They get to be bad.6/25/2012 #16
I once heard it said that the villain is the hero of his or her own story, and I'd say that's very much the truth. I believe that villains don't believe that they are evil per se (unless they happen to fall into the Snidley Whiplash category) but they believe that what they are doing is somehow right. I'd say that's what makes it interesting to write. I mean I don't write stories dedicated to villains, although I plan on covering the back-story of one of mine, but trying to approach it from that idea is just, well, interesting.6/26/2012 . Edited 6/26/2012 #17
I believe that villains don't believe that they are evil per se (unless they happen to fall into the Sindley Whiplash category)
I like those guys too, though. They're often so exuberant!6/26/2012 #18
I once heard it said that the villain is the hero of his or her own story, and I'd say that's very much the truth. I believe that villains don't believe that they are evil per se (unless they happen to fall into the Snidley Whiplash category) but they believe that what they are doing is somehow right.
Interestingly, I'm currently experimenting with ways to take traits traditionally considered "good" and twist them into evil traits. For example, I have a villain who hates to see people suffer...so he kills anyone whom he sees as suffering in any way, and whether they're suffering or not is not their call to make but his. If he thinks they're in a bad way, he'll immediately kill them under the impression they're "better off dead."
And after all, if a villain has good intentions and will only do things he can justify, just how and what will he justify and how much will this protect his associates (whether with or against him)?6/26/2012 #19
Erected by her sorrowing brothers
In memory of Martha Clay.
Here lies one that lived for others,
Now she has peace
And so have they.
I just was reminded of that when I read your post, alicekinsno1. I think almost any trait that are traditionally looked on as good, can be quickly turned into a bad thing. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions...6/26/2012 #20
I don't think that all villians are likable, although there are certaintly some antagonists that are rather brillaint characters, I have a character named Ezek, who simply wanted a better life for himself and in the proccess of getting that life almost destroyed the world. I like it when the villian solves the problem that they create.6/27/2012 #21
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