1. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    A nice villain?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Vamp_fan22, Aug 8, 2011.

    The main villain in my story is Head of an evil association. He's not truly evil he's just taking over his father's business and trying to raise his son the way his father raised him. In my mind he's kind of this all around fun guy who my mc actually kind of bonds with in the beginning. He does do really bad things to my mc later but only after my mc accidently kills his son. So how do I make him a nice guy while still keeping him a villain?
     
  2. Ella Frank
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    Ella Frank Member

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    Hi!

    You need to give him some redeeming glimpses and qualities in life. I think two good examples of this are and they are tv characters I'm afraid not literary.

    Eric Northam - True Blood
    Spike - Angel

    Both evil Vamps but both totally likable to me.

    Ella
    xx
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Think of him as antagonist instead of villain. He can be as nice as you want to make him, but if he's actively seeking to prevent the protagonist from achieving his goals then he's the antagonist of the story. He doesn't have to be evil. But if he isn't, that's going to have implications for how he acts in the story.
     
  4. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    The way I see it is he doesn't realize that what he's doing is wrong. This organization has been a part of his family for generations. The organization is for psychic people and their mission is to eliminate the 'ordinaries.' It's what he's been raised doing so he's almost numbed to the reality of it all, which is that he's training people to murder hundreds of innocent people.
     
  5. The_NeverPen
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    The_NeverPen Member

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    Most villains/antagonists aren't. You've given your character motivation which counters the protagonist. That's all that matters.
     
  6. AurorSeeker
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    AurorSeeker Member

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    somehow I reminded of Lex Luthor on Smallville series, even as an antagonist he is a nice person. Or maybe Harry as the Green Goblin on Spiderman movie (I forget which Spiderman movie). They just need reasons, I think.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't. He's an antagonist (see below). That said, your main character sounds like the villain, being that he killed some dude's kid (even accidentally).
    Either way, you make him a nice guy, and you make him an antagonist. Those two things are mutually exclusive.

    Actually, True Blood is based on the Southern Vampires Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris, so Eric Northman is actually a literary character.
    Might I also add that Eric is not a villain or antagonist. He's more of a foil for Bill Compton, whereas Bill is something of an antihero character.

    This, esp. the bolded.
     
  8. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    I'm sure there has to be a way. I'm not sure how to do it, but start by watching Megamind. Megamind turned out to be a "nice guy." The problem was that he wasn't the true antagonist of the movie, but it's a good starting point.

    Maybe your antagonist has to do these things not because he wants to, but because something that he can't disobey compels him.
     
  9. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Well think of it this way if you take say the joker and tell his tale then Batman becomes the villain. It is all about perspective. The villain can be your average joe working to provide for his family and the villain some hitman and still be good. It is the perspective of the story, not really the characters. A great example of this was The Sword of Truth.

    The villain was not really all that bad in what he wanted to do but it was how he went about the act. It becomes even more apparent later in the series when the protagonist realizes he must do the exact same thing to save everyone. As I said it is all about perspective.
     
  10. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Anyone here heard of Death Note? The character Ryuk impresses me beyond such levels that i cannot explain. He's a hero, ant-hero and a neutral character at the exact same time. He's a villain, but a friend. He is willing to help Light, but then he won't. Or he'll ask for an apple, but still staying on topic to his schemes. If you ask me why im so impressed with this character, it's because the writers of the manga and the show did it so perfectly, it blew me away. Same goes with the character L, he's a hero, but then he'll shift into an Antihero. It's pretty interesting.
     
  11. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    He actually goes through a lot of different changes. He starts out this really cool guy, save for the fact that he actually kidnapped my mc's. Then he starts torturing them trying to force them to kill for him. After his son dies he actually tries to kill my mc's brother and sends my mc's best friend to kill him. By the end of the story he starts to see what kind of life he's living and he's lost his wife and two sons now so he leaves the association forever.
     
  12. Wrathnar the Unreasonable
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    Wrathnar the Unreasonable Member

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    I don't think you'll have to 'try' to make your villain likeable. As long as you have a clear vision of his character, it should show through naturally in the writing. Trust yourself, write the thing, then read it back and see if it's worked - I bet you'll find it works very well. From what you've said above, you do seem to have a clear, detailed vision of the character - so just go ahead and write!
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    i don't think a villain has to be a villain in the real sense, just a character with an opposing goal to that of the mc. See it that way and he/she can be as nice and fascinating as you want him/her to be.
     
  14. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Your villain sounds interesting. I'd suggest that there are some lines he will have difficulty crossing if you want to keep him likeable. Torture is one of them. If you go this road, you have to write him carefully, showing that while he's doing something terrible, he has reasons which the reader can relate to, i.e. the soul destroying grief from having lost his child, which has left him an emotional basket case. He also needs to have doubts as he's doing these things, because without them and knowing that he's doing terrible things, he just becomes another psychopath.

    As for the more minor end of the evil scale, that can be more easily enjoyed. He's a thrill seeker from what you said, so the thrill of the crime is a part of who he is. Raised in a criminal family - so twist his morality a little bit so that robbery and fraud etc, aren't seen by him as bad things. (Here the stainless steel rat comes to mind as slippery Jim so often does.) And of course give him some other likeable traits, sense of humour, love of small furry animals and kiddies, being smarter then his enemies.

    In the end your villain is a human and so like all of us, not one dimensional. It is possible for all of us to both love and hate at the same time, to do both good and evil. If you really want to explore this I'd suggest reading Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    Cheers.
     
  15. samessex
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    samessex Member

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    I think you have been given some very good advice above. I'm pretty new to the whole writing scene, so cannot really give a great deal, but I wanted to say, I think your story sounds very interested, something I would be interested in reading.

    I think psychotick had a very good point about the torture. Your villian can still be likeable, but just make sure he has good enough "just" reasons for the torture. Therefore the audience can still relate to him/like him.

    Goodluck!
     

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