HOW TO CREATE A CIRCUMSTANTIALLY EVIL VILLAIN
These are the two types of villains that we are going to mix today.
Circumstantial + Evil = CircumEvil.
This is the type of villain who is best described as vicious and evil, vile even. The reader will despise this character, and the other characters will buckle under his power. He kills for a living, and he has no remorse for beheading innocent victims in his plight.
This villain could be the old girlfriend of your main, or she could be the wicked best friend. The joy of a CircumEvil is that you can make her as evil as you want. You can make her life devilish, as all those in her path experience her Hell.
But here’s the thing: as the story progresses, weave in intricate ways as to why she is merely a victim of her circumstances. Sure she’s made some bad decisions along the way, but her heart is not as bad as it seems. In fact, the killing and the lies and the betrayals and the deceit were all an outward expression of the inner rage she felt because of the injustices she faced as a child.
These types of characters are common, and readers love seeing the evil redeemed. There’s something about redemption that makes the reader cheer on the inside; the reader will forgive and even the neglect the past evils due to the remaining narrative of the story.
There are certain elements that this character must possess.
If you are going to redeem this character, then go ahead make this character as evil as possible without pushing her over the edge. There’s no reason that a villain like this could not be heartless, bordering along the lines of not having a soul. The worse thing you want to do here is to try to make a lovable character in the outset.
Remember you don’t want this villain to seem like a true Circumstantial Villain in the outset because it is your writing “slight of hand” that will pull the literary rabbit out of the hat and show this character’s true colors later.
MOMENT OF WEAKNESS:
There must be a moment of weakness in this character’s life where she realizes that everything she’s believed has been a lie. She has to see that the life that’s she’s lived is falling apart and there’s nothing else to live for.
Whatever evils she commits, there have to be some equally appealing “good” deeds to show her true pure heart to the reader. If she slays 1,000 people, she needs to give out 1,000 candy bars to the passersby.
That’s me being facetious, but she might perhaps risk her life to save the life of the main character’s. There must be something that shows she’s changed for the better.
Typically, a CircumEvil villain will result in some kind of redemption in the end because she’ll realize that her circumstances no longer dictate who she is.
I hope this helps! Happy Monday!