Trust Me: Creating the perfect Villian
Come ask questions or give advice, or just talk about your fav villian :
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Alright, when I think of villain I see that dark haired man twirling his mustache as he corners a young girl in an alley. However, when creating a supernatural villain, what is the most important traits to have? I'm trying to create a villain who isn't a killer, but you know he's bad news. That classic dark type. Any suggestions?

12/5/2009 #1

The big thing is atmosphere. you have to make them seem creepy. The speach pattens you use for them also have a big effect, i.e. an irish villain would add a slight commic effect to a tense scene, while europeian would make them seem eviler because of the bond villain connection. If they speak posh and use propper grammar that could fit in very well with what you are intending, with the right description.

1/11/2010 #2

In my opinion, I think the perfect villain is the one who is always in control. By keeping hold over their emotions, or by planning so far ahead that the protagonist can't do anything to stop them, they invoke this sense of helplessness in both the characters and the reader. It's like one of those classic situations where the hero does everything in his power to stop the plans of the villain only to find the villain very calmly revealing that everything the hero did either accomplished nothing or, even better, actually set the true plan in motion. Also important for a villain is to humanize them, mostly. Try to give them traits, or at least flashes of character, that make the reader not absolutely hate them. Humanizing an antagonist can add a lot of emotion to a story, both to the characters and the reader. You care more about a villain, and suddenly you can start seeing the story from a whole new angle. These are just things I believe, though. I know there are tons of people that would disagree with me.

1/29/2010 #3

Zakemaster's right: total control is good. Also, a villain is more believable if he or she has a flaw or two. Unless it's your intention, a villain shouldn't be evil to the point of making the reader wince.

As far as a non-killer villain, that's difficult. He has to ooze darkness without slitting anyone's throat. You could try describing him with words like 'slither', 'purr', 'shadowy', etc. He could maybe make the other characters uneas with just a glance or a word.

Good luck!

4/11/2010 #4
Bittersweet Dreamer

I think the perfect villain is usually pretty smart and comes up with good ideas but usually fails, rarely suceeds and if he does, he fails eventually. He has a reason to be bad too..which I need help on with my story.

See, I'm writing a murder mystery. The bad guy is enemies with the girl's dad(who is dead, so he was enemies) and they're both scientists. See, I put a twist. The bad guy won, the dad usually got second place in the science fairs and such. Also, the bad guy was a huge owner of a company. So I can't figure out why he is bad. He wants to kill this girl...Leah. And I can't really explain the concept without giving away the whole story....

So any ideas for how he can be bad? He didn't kill the girl's parents(mom died in car crash, dad of heart cancer), but he wants to kill the girl herself. I really need ideas....meh.

9/26/2010 . Edited 9/26/2010 #5

If you don't understand the motivations, then you don't understand the characters. And if you don't understand the characters, you don't understand the story. I suggest you figure these things out for yourself, and then get to writing the story after you have.

9/26/2010 #6
Who Is This Girl Anyway

Difficult villains are always good. There's a saying that you should only be frightened of clever people, because they're more of a threat. Iago, for example, is still popular today because he's so in control of everything. Arguably, the brute in a pub isn't nearly as scary as the quiet clever kid, because the worst thing the brute will do is beat you up.

2/12/2011 #7
in my opnion the best villains have fallen in one of two catagorys. Psychos and controllers. Psychos just creep you out becuase they enjoy what they are doing, they relish in the pain they cause the horror that follows them and might even laugh as they attack someone. These villains are unpredictable and scary since they are hard to understand and impossiablle to predict. Like th joker in the dark knight. Truly insane, but still one step ahead. Controllers are the clever ones. Iago, Jaffar, the ones who are pulling strings the whole time in complete control of all that is going on, calm and collectted to all situations. They are never not in control and you hate them for their smug sense of power. They sometimes even seem to have the power to know things they shouldnt, giving them an edge over the hero. What the hero is learning in his quest the villian has known for years However no villian can be perfect, they have to have some flaw. My favorite villian i ever made is a blend of both types and has a flaw of being overly arrogent so he lets the hero have too much wiggle room in his plans so he can have challange. When things come apart he has some anger issues.Simple flaws like that can make a huge diffrence. If you want villian who people question if he is really evil or to relate to then you're going somewhere else.
2/21/2012 #8
I thnk that if a villian is good, they have to have a creepy feeling to them. like in the hnger games, how president snow has this wierd scent of roses, it creeps you out. if soem random person smelt like roses, you wouldnt think much about them, but because Pres. Snow does bad things, it is like a calling ard. also if they just feel powerful, and they can get whatever they want like that. like in harry potter, when Voldemort is regaining power, he doesnt need t appoint himself as Minister of Magic or Headmaste of Hogwars, if he wants something done, it happenss, even if he isnt there to do it. or if the person oes horrible things, gthe they are usually bad, and people cringe at the word of them. if there s a villian who as done horrible thiings, think that that would make a good villian, but if they also had that wierd feeling to them, and has power, then that is a really good villian.
3/24/2012 #9

I think a Villain needs to be believable. They need to have some amount of realism to them, like somebody like that could actually exist, and be frightening or bad enough to be a good villain.

I think it really depends on what you're going for though.

Like with Voldemort in Harry Potter, especially in the movies, part of what made him so terrifying was his realism. He had human eyes, a human voice, and used to seem so human, but now he's just a monster, a terrifying killer, who for me, sometimes made me afraid of him coming to my house and killing my family. (Not literally, but the fear was still there)

There are those villains that really make you think, "I wish that I was there to kill them!" The villains that just act like jerks and really make you want to be in the story to fight them.

5/11/2012 #10

Yeah, I agree a villain needs to be believable but what if they aren't intentionally villains in the beginning?

What if they are simply just a person in a bad situation? What then?

Or is this off-subject. :/

I dunno. I like to think that the best villain is a villian who has a reason to be a badguy, or thinks he/she does, and ends up being bigger and badder than you expected. A villain that grows continually more evil the more you collide with him/her. In essance, a villain that grows with the character you chose to be the main character. Just keeps getting worse as the hero(-ine) gets better.

Any thoughts?

3/17/2013 #11

An Idea I like is that the villain per say is corrupted by some vile force and turned into a puppet, a bringer of destruction. Ounce the hero cuts the strings, the villain thanks the hero for truly setting him free and admits the fact he won't ever right the wrongs he committed before he dies. Worked wonders for one of my fanfictions.

Another idea is that the villain is spoiled until having to deal with responsibility, (An arrogant prince having to rule as king on short notice for example) Overwhelmed the villain takes the easy answer, paying no mind to the consequences. During the final confrontation, the villain starts trowing a fit until he succumbed to complete madness and is subsequently defeated.

Another idea is that the true villain is never revealed until the end, and is shown to be an ally of the main character the entire time, using this cover to easily piggyback on the hero's efforts.

5/11/2015 #12
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