1. Sydrak
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    Sydrak Member

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    I need help with a villain

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Sydrak, Apr 21, 2014.

    So simply put my villain is boring and plain, just the basic; I'm gonna take over the world, -kind of guy. He's a character I originally made as a 13-14 year old, so he's affected greatly by my childish mind back then.
    The most interesting thing about him is his two henchmen(who at the moment would be better villains really). I just don't know where to start! Almost everything about him is "wrong."
    Any advice? Any at all?:p
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Don't make him all bad. Give him (or her) some weaknesses and a soft spot or some guilt.
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Make him a person first. A villain is only a villain because of their behavior and how others categorize him. To himself he's not a villain - he's just ambitious.
     
  4. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    little more details? what dont you like about him? whats his plan? strengths and weaknesses etc etc

    i like to make my villains sickos
     
  5. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Pinpointing your villain's motivations might help you to flesh him/her out. You can also ask such questions like "why would s/he be my hero's antagonist? Why did he become an antagonist?"
     
  6. Madman
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    Madman Active Member

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    Enter his past. Something must have made him a villain? Ideology? Love? Fear? Knowledge?
     
  7. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    Motivation? Why does he want to take over the world? To make the world a better place perhaps. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
     
  8. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    What matters most to me is the villains relation to the main character. Make it personal. Don't make it "The bad guy killed the protagonist's guinea pig, mittens, twenty years ago and now he wants revenge" it's gotta be deeper than that. Think about Batman and The Joker (I'm going off of Nolan's interpretation) - for the batman the conflict isn't resolvable because he refuses to kill The Joker, even though The Joker pushes him to, even though he knows that The Joker is dangerous. The Joker tests the Batman's moral code as well as his fist fighting and all that.

    I could analyse hundreds of completely different villains and examine why they were good or bad villains - at the end of the day it's your protagonist that we care about. The villain is just there to test the good guy, and so long as he tests him in complex and interesting ways then you should have a good villain.
     
  9. Sydrak
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    Sydrak Member

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    How many answers just while I was in the shower^^,

    Anyway; a lot of you ask about his motivation and his past/backstory. So far he's been a demi-god, he is not welcomed in the realm of neither gods or humans, mixing of race and social class is a big no-no and is thus outcast. So I was at first thinking this to be his motivation, to create his own place in the world, or an equal world. But that really makes him more of a hero than a villain... Besides, the story kind of ends with a lot of the segregation between races being erased out by initiative of some of the heroes. This also does fit the villain's henchmen, as they too are outcasts for racial and social class related issues.
    I've also though about simply having him being "full of it." He's a demi-god, why shouldn't he rule? Then simply makes his claim by force.
    But I feel both of these are kind of thin.

    The villain is usually something to have in place first, then create the "cast" that is supposed to stop the villain. I ended up doing it the other way around:p
     
  10. Sydrak
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    Sydrak Member

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    I'm actually gonna quote this one. This is part of the problem I think, my heroes have personal relations with hit two henchmen, who obviously tests them, but not the villain himself. I have however been tempted to make my villain involved in all the terrible events in my heroes lives(one starts out the story like a slave for example), and to have my villain simply turn out to be the cause of it all in his way towards rule.

    (Pardon if my English is weird btw.)
     
  11. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    If one of you're characters was a slave then perhaps he feels partially sorry for these henchmen if they are treated like slaves? Then you've got an internal conflict for the hero as well as an external conflict.

    If you're doing fantasy it's easier to get away with simpler villains, Sauron in the lord of the rings for example - He's just a big evil asshole. Remember that your story is all about about testing the hero, If your bad guy makes life difficult for the hero then you should be fine.
     
  12. Sydrak
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    Sydrak Member

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    I don't want my villain to be as simple as Sauron like you mention, although Sauron is formidably evil, I want my villain to be more than that. But what you say about testing the hero is very good advice! I can totally use that even the way my villain is now:) But I do want to give him some more depth.

    About his henchmen; his henchmen are actually granted quite a bit of power and responsibility, and henchman #1 appears first to be just a traitor to his tribe, and has close relation to one of my heroes, so a lot of conflict arises from that. Although this conflict gets more difficult at this turns out that he never committed treason at all. And so the snowball rolls down the hill:p But I need that to happen with the main villain, not just his henchmen! If that makes sense at all :rolleyes:
     
  13. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Ask yourself too how your villain wants to challenge your hero, and how he wants to bring him to his knees. Physically, mentally, emotionally? What's the relationship between the villain and the hero? Have they met before? Does he really want to be the villain? Does he even see himself as the villain, or does he just think that he's the one doing good things, and not the hero? What makes him bad compared to the hero? I'm sure they've both murdered and lied and stolen. So why is your villain considered different?

    Is there anyone the villain gets on with? The local butcher? His mum? Or does he despise everyone, and everyone despises him? If you want to create a good villain, or any character, you need to spend time with them. So what you could do is keep a diary which is theirs, and see what they have to say, or write a few letters to various people he knows. If you don't want to do this, at least think about your villain at every spare moment. Ask serious questions and sillier ones e.g. Why is/isn't he married? Which flavour of ice cream does he like the most, and why?

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I dislike the term villain, because it distracts one from thinking of him or her as a character, first and always.

    Understand and empathize with your antagonist as much as you do your protagonist. Perhaps even a bit more.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The most interesting antagonists are the ones who could ALMOST be heroes. If they're just 'baddies' with no redeeming traits, they're boring—and often appear less powerful than their position would suggest.

    Think DarthVader, versus The Emperor in the Star Wars original trilogy. Darth Vader was interesting, because he was Luke's father. He'd also had another life before the Dark Side took him, had real-world relatives, a former tutor who rated him, etc. DarthVader was FAR more interesting than that stupid (and disappointing) Emperor, who seemed to have no more going for him than a stock-villain cackle and twitchy fingers that could shoot lightning.

    It's the antagonists who tread that thin line between heaven and hell who are the most memorable. Also, they make the 'hero's' task more difficult as well, as we saw with Luke Skywalker. He felt hampered by his feelings, at the end.
     
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  16. Slade Lucas
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    Firstly, have you considered making his henchmen the "True" villains? They could either be the true driving force behind your villain, who is really just weak minded, or they could betray him and take over.

    But if you want your villain to be great you need to know everything about him - no one in the world is just evil for some reason, they always have some story behind them. I always make sure that I give my villains a backstory as deep, or even deeper, than the main characters. The only problem with this is that I often start to like my villain too much and feel sympathy for them.
     
  17. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    The thing about Villains is in there eyes they need to be heroes (or at least start out that way). With a good villain it isn't what they're aiming for that makes them a villain but what they do to achieve it. Who's to say your hero and villain aren't both trying to fix the world just that they're trying to fix the world in different ways and ways that conflict with one another.

    Personally I like your first idea. As @jannert said making him a hero from one perspective will make him a stronger villain.
     
  18. Sydrak
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    Good advice! So far I've just made my villain physically superior, but I don't want that to be the only aspect of him, I want a more clever villain I guess. After all the advice I'm getting here, I'm wondering if I'm gonna let my villain have a finger in affecting the lives of my heroes to achieve his goal, it's just not apparent yet, so they have actually met before indirectly. I'll have to think some more about it.

    He doesn't really get along with anyone(not even his henchmen), but he does have a dragon at his disposal(yay, dragons!:D), but one of my heroes ends up killing it.

    I think it's vital what you say about spending time with them, I have "spent time" with my characters in my head when daydreaming, but never been one on one with my villain to play out how he would feel and react to things.

    I'm doing that spin on things in a different story actually:) But it doesn't quite fit the image of this one, plus I think I'm too involved with my other characters to turn it all over like that.
    I started working more on my villain's backstory last night, I'll have to see what I can come up with:)

    As of right now, my villain is really "The Emperor" and the henchmen "Darh Vader," in my story, lol:) I need a twist, something that sheds light on everything. Oh dear, now I just had and idea, lol:p
    Anyway, up till now my villain has had the goal of uniting all the different races and tribes into one, he was himself an outcasts because of race, so are his henchmen(why they sought after him in the first place)so any means used are okay to achieve the utopia he aims to create. Might be kind of fitting since the story ends with the racial, tribe and social classes are erased out more due to my heroes, so he kind of gets his way anyway. This is why I am considering not to kill him off in the end, but I don't know if that will work out.
     

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