This isn't about how you can make your villains empathetic, but how you yourself could feel empathy for your own villain. Let me use an example from my Colonial Detective series. Let's say that during the course of the series, Amos is harrassed, picked on, mocked, even physically assaulted by an elite, snobby anti-French kid his age. I make this kid as hateful as I can, make the readers pray for karma biting him in the ass. Then, in a later book, the kid and his family are in mortal peril. They have been accused of spying for the Colonial army and have been sentenced to hang. Everyone must die. The kid, his mother, and his father. Everyone. Knowing dear Amos, he'd put his prejudices aside and try to help save his arch-rival. But I have other ideas. Basically, I'd just let them die. Make Amos fail in his mission. No matter how much he begs me, no matter how much potential they have, I would not hesitate to let this fictional kid and his family perish. I've noticed this and it's...terrifying. What if said kid wanted to redeem himself? Wanted to make amends? Instead, I have this childish thought of just getting rid of him (and his family) just because I can do it. How can I change this? How can I have empathy for my own villains and not just kill them off the chance I get? Tips?