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What type of villain are you creating? There are several types, and we are going to take a few days to explore these feats of villainy.

This post will be about the slippery villain. This villain is like a fish that you just can’t keep your hands on. He’s a villain by circumstance, and it only makes you hate him more.

How is this villain constructed? He’s usually not very confident in his own abilities. He wants to be respected, but he has done nothing worthy of respect. He demands to be honored, but he’s lived a life of dishonor.

There are no leadership qualities about him, but through a series of scenarios, he was able to gain power. His boldness comes from his power, not from his heart. A good example of this type of villain is from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The guy who makes Lisabeth do sexual favors for him in exchange for money is just awful.

Let’s consider how to construct this type of villain.

Instead of making a weasel, give the villain some situations to weasel his way through. Think about some circumstances that this villain might have faced. In these scenarios, make him flee these situations ignobly.

Maybe he betrays his friends, or maybe he steals from the people who have been generous to him. Perhaps he cheats when he gambles, and he fakes like he’s drunk to get women to sleep with him.

Give him a drive for power or affluence. His passion can be subtle, but when an opportunity for advancement crosses his path, he chomps at it like a rabid pit-bull. Allow his weaseling to put him in situations where he gains power.

Perhaps he’s a weasel in high school. Let it be that he finds a way to rig the ballot so that he gets elected as president of the school.

Slippery villains should be villains that you don’t like seeing. Every time that the reader reads his name, the reader should know that there’s nothing but trouble brewing. Make this villain’s interactions annoying, but not clumsy.

Be intentional about your interactions with this villain. He still cannot get away with making dumb, uncharacteristic decisions.

Think of your novel. Is this the type villain that could benefit your story? If so, then having your main defeat this character is not as simple as a knife in the neck. No. Death is too noble for this kind of antag. It must be something dishonorable. Maybe someone he trusted betrays him.

Slippery villains can be fun to write because of how much hatred the reader will typically have towards this kind of character.

4 thoughts on “SLIPPERY WHEN WET

  1. mariathermann

    It’s the type of villain one of my favourite British actors, Timothy Spall, has always portrayed with perfection…he did it again as Peter the rat at Hogwarts.

    1. William Stadler Post author

      I agree, Maria. These villains just make you want to strangle them, but something about them is appealing also. They’re just slippery!

  2. Pingback: SLIPPERY CIRCUMSTANCES | Fresh Ink

  3. Pingback: SLIPPERY CIRCUMSTANCES « Stadler Style

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