1. InkDream
    Offline

    InkDream Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    the Evergreen State

    Fear and the Villain

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by InkDream, Nov 8, 2009.

    I'm having trouble with a villain I am writing. So I thought I'd throw out a question to all of you. ;)

    What villain (either in history or fiction) scared you the most and why? What was it about them that struck you the most?
     
  2. Fox Favinger
    Offline

    Fox Favinger Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    A killer or someone that does something horrific that I can all of a sudden sympathize with.

    An odd example is the Playing with Dolls DVD that came with the new limited edition Slayer album lol. It starts off with a little boy who walks into the kitchen and sees his mother brutally slain. Then he grows up and starts butchering women. It seems pointless and comical at first, then you see that he is taking parts of other woman to construct a replica of his mother (psycho I know). At the end his mother "doll" is complete and he falls asleep cuddling it, then he has a nightmare where the killer comes back and takes the mother doll.

    At the end I was shocked because I actually felt bad for this psycho. Seeing him holding the mother doll I suddenly sensed the motherly love that was taken from him at such a young age.
     
  3. B-Gas
    Offline

    B-Gas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    14
    The Shoggoth, from At The Mountains Of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. It doesn't move; there's too much there for it to move. It floods. It fills rooms like a piston and wipes everything clean behind it. Nothing is left behind. It cannot think, it cannot feel, and if it ever gets out of that cyclopean city beyond the Mountains it will eat us all. It is kept appeased by a species of huge, blind, hairless, mindless penguins that wander from room to room in that city, crying "Teka-li-li!" every now and again, before being eaten. So far, it has stayed put.

    And all we can do is pray that it never escapes. Because we humans cannot fight it if it does.
     
  4. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    Villains that are human scare me the most. Villains that establish and then violate and abuse emotional ties and trust. Violent parents/spouses, pedophiles, etc.
     
  5. soujiroseta
    Offline

    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    I'd have to say The Wolf, from James Patterson's London Bridges and Big Bad Wolf novels. It's not that he's excessively scary but the way he works and deals with situations just instills a fear in me that says never, EVER, make friends with someone like this. He wasn't horrific looking either, just a normal looking scary guy.
     
  6. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Lucifer from Supernatural tv show scares me. He is the type of villian that is both my favorite and terrifies me. Lucifer in Supernatural tells you he will not lie to you, and will only speak the truth. He tries and wins you by telling you the reason God kicked him out of heaven is because he loved God so much he refused to love humans. You sorta feel sympathy for him. But while this is going on you know he is planning a very terrible apocalypse.

    He terrifies me because I think I would be hard pressed not to follow him. If that makes any sense.
     
  7. Sazzle
    Offline

    Sazzle Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    For me the scariest villains are those who appear the most 'normal'. Characters who commit brutal crimes on others with no reason other than that they want to really worry me. I always enjoy stories where you are never sure of a character's intentions and the 'villain' streak is implied rather than obviously suggested.

    If you have ever seen/read Rosemarys Baby by Ira Levin (an oldie but a goodie!) this is a really chilling story. A woman expected a baby becomes increasingly paranoid about the safety of her child and suspects witchcraft is involved and they are going to sacrifice her child when it is born.

    There are no 'typical' villains here but you are left wondering whether the people around her are trying to take the child or if paranoia is taking over the pregnant mother. Chilling.
     
  8. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    A serial killer who chooses his victims randomly and tortures them to death.

    The guy from Saw is pretty freaky. I'm not bad, though, and I value my life, so he would never take me. Still, though, I can imagine being in one of his contraptions.

    That clown from Polterguist. That scared the crap out of me when I was little.

    Freddy freaked me out when I was a kid because my friend told me he was real. The idea that a man can kill you in your dreams is pretty freaky.

    Candy Man.

    IT - not because he was a clown, but because he manifests as your worst fears.
     
  9. WaltzElf
    Offline

    WaltzElf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Read American Psycho - that's the most frightening kind of villain.


    But then I generally prefer to enjoy the villain character, not be revolted or frightened by them - something like The Joker from The Dark Knight - evil, but in an entertaining (not exactly frightening) way.
     
  10. sweetchaos
    Offline

    sweetchaos Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Oshawa, Canada
    Men like Hitler. He was so convincing that he had nearly an entire country believing he was in the right when he decided to murder an entire race of people. That is scary!
     
  11. Unsavory
    Offline

    Unsavory Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Eugene, OR, USA
    Contrary to what a lot of people are saying, I find that the more you know about a villain, the less scary they become. When you know that terrible things are happening but you don't know why or by who, that is a very scary situation. Sympathy can make a great villain, but in my experience it reduces the fear. Obviously that is different for some people.
     
  12. Little Miss Edi
    Offline

    Little Miss Edi Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South East, England
    Unsavory does have a point there.

    The unknown is always the most terrifying. It's like seeing the alien/monster/ghost. All of a sudden seeing it makes it less frightening.

    For me the really terrifying villains are the ones that are meaningless. When they've got a motive, you can empathise. When they've got a method, they're predictable. When they've got a plan, the mayhem will stop. It's the uncertainty that really makes a truly terrifying villain.
     
  13. Brandon P.
    Offline

    Brandon P. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    California
    Reading that almost made me cry.
     
  14. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    Reading through this thread, it should be obvious that we all fear different things. I think it may be an impossible task to create a villain who everyone would fear. A better approach would be to create a villain your character fears, a villain who terrifies him to his core. Bring the character's fear to life so the reader feels what he feals. Empathy is powerful, and it's something most of us have in common, unlike specific fears.

    I've been racking my brain for a villain who scares me (non-humans are pretty much out of the question) and I can't think of any who aren't childhood memories. The only person I can think of right now is Edward Elric, the MC from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist, who wasn't a villain at all.

    I think it's a great example of the importance of execution. The delivery was so good, I empathised with Edward on a level that is unusual for me. There was a scene where Edward was given the option to kill some prisoners in cold blood in order to correct the mistakes of his past. This had been the driving force in his life, what he lived for--to fix the terrible damage he had done to his own little brother, whom he loved more than anything.

    I felt Edward's dilemma as if it were my own. I wanted to kill those prisoners, just like he did, to save my brother, to absolve myself of past sins, even if it meant commiting another more terrible crime. In that moment, I wasn't sure what I might be capable of. That scared me a little.

    Anything can be frightening with the right execution, I think. You could have a character who is scared witless of the tooth fairy and if you did it right, the reader would share his fear. On the other hand, you'll have a hard (impossible?) time coming up with a mere idea that would frighten anyone.
     
  15. sidtvicious
    Offline

    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Inferno, office 752. Take a right turn at the wat
    Chills.

    The Corinthian from Gaiman's Sandman (yes apologies comic fan here) scared the hell out of me. The nightmare of nightmares crafted to be the perfect harbinger of fear within someones dreamscape, issue is in the comic he goes rogue. A man with mouths for eyes, always concealed by sunglasses. He literally has no motives for doing what it does, other than that's the way he was made. Detail, however, is the key that makes him so disturbing. He can speak through all mouths, and nothing visually (as far as villains go) has sent chill down my spine more than him speaking but the mouth that you can see not moving.

    I actually agree with a few other posts, particularly about those dealing with the issue of relating to a psychopath. In reading a lot of books, i find this is more effective if the protagonist is said psychopath, a conjoined good and evil/ protagonist/antagonist, duality. American Psycho does this as well as The Wasp Factory by Lain Banks.
     
  16. Kirvee
    Offline

    Kirvee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Michigan
    Chucky.

    I blame him for my absolute fear of ALL dolls.

    I'm fairly sure there were other villains from my childhood....but I can't remember them now.....
     

Share This Page