Now, I believe I have written a piece on how to write characters as a general, but here I'm going to get a bit more specific. I'm going to tell you how to write villains. Being a major baddie-fan, this is a topic I hold pretty close to my heart. Almost as close as chocolate... mmm... chocolate...
A general overview
Villains can give some people problems, as they don't tend to have much time infront of the audience apart from when they're having their asses kick, so it can be hard to make them realistic. But, of course, Wolfy is here to help. And as always she is useless. The thing about villains is that nobody pays them much attention, so they often get overlooked by authors. However, there are so many types out there that they provide infinite opportunities.
I used that as the title because they are the best know of this type. They are always trying to either destroy or take over the world, and make a lot of money in the process. Yes, I'm talking about megalomaniacs. They are completely over the top and cliche, usually European, and you'll probably get insulted for writing them, but that is irrelevant. They are some of the easiest to write, but often the hardest - well, second hardest - to explain. However, all it takes is a bit of a background story. Heck, even Christopher Paolini managed it. Something to explain why they hate/don't care for the world works wonders. And then you can make them as tacky (or not) as you like, and they can't complain. Because some people really do act like that. Or you can ignore this whole section and write them how you like, which probably makes more sense.
This applies to mass murderers, loonies and often even Bond villains. It just means crazy person. Heck, some say it even applies to me. And, before anybody has chance to ask, yes, some people are just born crazy. The voices told them is a suitable reason. This doesn't always require a background story. However, an explanation of what sent them crazy can add amazing depth to the character and do amazing things for the plot-line. Or it can suck hardcore. It depends on the story, character, and most importantly, its relevance to what is happening in the story. It is completely up to you the author.
I would rather ovoid these. I'm at highschool at the moment, and let me tell you, the nerds are almost as bad as the jocks. Almost, I would still save the bullets for the jocks though.
Ah, a classic. All I'm going to say, is they are awesome. And all supervillains should be made as awesome as the hero, but with better costumes. You don't need to make them weak so that the hero will have a chance, or so that the flamers will leave you alone. Just give them a cape, a catchphrase and a death-ray and you're all set. Now where did I put my laser-beams?
You can probably guess what this is. Yes, comedy villains. Spoofs. The bumbling idiots who don't know what they're doing, but that all right 'cuz the hero's a moron who'll probably destroy the world them self. Contrary to popular belief, these are actually some of the hardest, as we've seen most of the jokes before. You need to be original. You should probably ask a comedy writer about this one, but I'll tell you what I know anyway. I KNOW NOTHING!
Mwahahahaha! No, they aren't compulsory, but they rock, just so long as you don't put 'and then he did his evil laugh and everybody was really, really scared'. They can sound however you like, even if it makes no sense. Heck, even the giggling of that evil highschool bitch who ruined my - I mean your protagonist's life as she infuriates them beyond all belief is technically an evil laugh. It just isn't commonly recognised as one. And they fit in anywhere, can really show a characters nature, add to the atmosphere, and just generally are cool. Yes, it is a cliche, for a good reason. They work, there is nothing wrong with using them, so go ahead.
If you have an ugly villain, you will be called shallow. If you have a pretty villain, you will be accused of stereotyping pretty people as being bad people. You are screwed one way or another. So just ignore the flamers and make them look however you like, be it greasy, slimy and moustached, or a leather-clad sex-god. Feel free to put in the latter, I promise I'll read if you do.
...Are only as important as you make them. Which may be very, if you have a lot of international characters. It can help to distinguish between groups. However, they may be just an insignificant quirk. There is always - I repeat, always - a risk of people calling racism, but most of the ones who do are morons. If you have an Asian baddie, your racist to Asians, if euro trash, your racist to Europeans, if American, your a yank hater. Fair play on the last one, no offence to any Americans. I don't know enough to hate them myself, but everyone I know does. Back on topic, if you don't portray a certain group of people in you story, some people ask why they aren't present, and one of them has to be a baddie. Unless you have one goodie and one baddie from every country, your stuffed. Most people acknowledge this and ignore the ethnic origins of characters, but sadly some don't. They are prats, ignore them.
And, that may actually have been useful at points. I think there might be something wrong with me. Maybe it's because I was thinking of chocolate. Either way, I am still not a good source of information, you probably should ignore me, and now please review and tell me I'm awesome, it'll make me feel good about myself. Also, I may have touched on a sensitive topic at the end, and sincerely hope nobody is hacked off.