1. St Saint
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    St Saint Member

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    The Villian's Villian

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by St Saint, Mar 12, 2009.

    I'm unsure where to take my central villian, since pretty much all of the stereotypical villian types can work for him. Basically he is overlord of a genetically advanced alien army, in which he himself morphs his body into one similar to a humans but with alien deformities as to not frighten his new 'slaves' as he becomes their ruler. So I ask, which villian archetype do you prefer, and which would he fit better in;

    The Psycho-
    Someone with no care of karma, life or possesions, and just wants to cause chaos. (I.E. The Joker (Batman))

    The Overseeer-
    Someone who acts as if he knows exactly what is going to happen and how to act in situations. (I.E. Ozymandias (Watchmen))

    The Kind Torturer-
    Someone who acts completely unthreatening and kind to his enemies, before telling his bodyguards to brutally kill them. (I.E. Dr Breen (HL2))

    The Brute-
    Someone who joins his troops in the fight, usually strong and intimidating, leading his troops to a bloody war. (I.E. Bill the Butcher (Gangs of New York))

    Sorry if the examples aren't that great, but i'm thinking of them from the top of my head.
     
  2. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Honestly, I'd actually suggest you do away with any thought of villain 'type', it's possible that will restrict the character and could make him come across as two-dimensional, formulaic or a mere caricature of a villain... (i.e. If you are writing and you get to a point where your character must take a certain action, you may find that you either make him head in a certain direction merely because it's what expected for characters of a certain type, or what he does seems completely out of character for how you have set him up).

    Having common tendencies that your character leans towards, or traits that they show is one thing, but these things - as in any well crafted character, in my opinion - come from many different places and show on many different levels - as they do in real people (or, I assume, aliens... :)). I'd say the best thing to do is work out the motivations behind the things he does, why he believes the things he is does are right or just, what he wants/expects the results to be and why - he may well turn out to be an easily recognisable 'type' of villain, but your character could, in fact, be all of the things you have listed - and more - and still be believable.
     
  3. Benska
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    Benska Member

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    Dear Diary,
    Today I had an archetype chosen for me by some omniscient being.

    :p
    Sounds silly, does it not? Characters are defined by their past, as are real people. And we, as writers, strive to make our characters "real." Just as Gone wishing said, they would need some motivation behind why they choose to take a certain path, or do a certain thing, and why they believes their actions are right or just. Fair enough if that places them in one of the aforementioned archetypes. But by choosing one for them, I really think you will be limiting yourself in terms of character development and storyline.

    So my suggestion would be to think up a (probably dark) past for him. Or, if he already has one, flesh it out more. Then, if you still want to use a stereotype, it should be relatively easy just to see which one suits him better.

    This is just my opinion, of course. But hopefully I helped :)
     
  4. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I think the most important things to keep in mind are the following.

    The villain should be after what the MC(s) is after, or at least be after something that gets in the way of what the MC(s) wants.

    The villain should have a logical reason for going after what he wants, unless he is crazy, but it should make since from his crazy POV. The hardest thing is making the reader relate to his crazy POV.

    Once you have those things figured out, I think you will know your Villain type.

    I think another important thing to think about is that the villain is not necessary a villain. He/she is the antagonist. A holy person can be the antagonist. Anyone that is preventing the protagonist from reaching his/her goal is an antagonist.

    When I read the title of the thread I thought it was going to be able giving the villain a villain. The Antagonist's antagonist should be the MC. But he/she can also have another antagonist.
     

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