THE EVIL WITHIN

HOW TO CREATE AN EVIL VILLAIN

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The most well-known villain type is the “evil for evil’s sake” bad guy. This villain has no motives for his evil. He wants to rule the world, and he wants to enslave all its inhabitants.

This type of antag is comical if you take him to his logical end because the question always arises, “What are you going to do if you do enslave the world?” That said, it doesn’t matter what’s next. The important thing is what’s happening right now.

The evil villain is seen most in epic fantasies since everyone knows that evil is bad. Of course we know of the Sith Lord, Darth Sideous from Star Wars. There’s Darken Rahl from The Sword of Truth. The list goes on with these scumbags.

But what are some hints of creating evil villains?

NO CONSCIENCE:
This type of villain does not need to be run through a psychiatric gauntlet. He doesn’t need to answer a series of questions that try to figure out what his motives are. It’s not necessary. The reader will know that he’s bad, and he wants nothing more than but power or money or both.

This is not the time to work on character development. Make the reader hate him because of what he does or doesn’t do. Perhaps he encourages his soldiers to kill innocent civilians during his war campaigns.

But what if he has no power. Say he’s not an overlord. He’s just a punk kid from a small town who likes to bully the other children of the neighborhood. Maybe he steals ice cream from the kids who buy from the ice cream man. I know, I’m being facetious, but make him evil.

Please avoid the temptation to give him an evil resume as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs.

SOMETHING TO GAIN:
This villain must be attempting to gain something. He’s not just trying to stop the main character. Most of the time, these types of villains do not even care about the main. In fact, the main just gets in the way.

These villains are usually after money or power. Revenge is usually not even in the picture, because with revenge, there’s the element of a backstory. Evil villains don’t need backstory, they need motivation — a carrot on a stick that keeps them hacking and slashing through the innocents which ultimately builds your main into more of a heroine whenever she defeats him.

This is the easiest villain to create, but there are consequences. Your main has to be over-the-top amazing or else you will end up with a shallow novel, which is what most of us are not looking for. So though the epitome-of-evil villains are simplistic, I would advise to refrain from this type of bad guy unless you know that your heroine will overshadow the villain’s one-dimensionalism.

Happy Monday! Thanks for stopping by.

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5 thoughts on “THE EVIL WITHIN

  1. Jessica Baker

    I used to go for the more over the top villians, but now try and make them as realistic as possible and that really they aren’t that bad, just that the wants of the protagonists and antagonists don’t coincide. Feels more realistic to me, but maybe I just haven’t met enough villians!

    Reply
    1. William Stadler Post author

      Jessica, you make a good point. The 1-D villians are a lot less realistic. In writing, they are more like elements to be overcome rather than people to defeat. I prefer the more realistic villains myself. The next series of novels that I write will have an entity that is the epitome of evil.

      This week I am going to post about blending these villains together and using more than one to create a more fluid dynamic.

      Thanks for you comment!

      Reply
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