What makes a good villain?
Villains are every where. Most stories have them, some are so well written that people fall in love with them. Have you seen people walking around with Darth Vader shirts? Girls going crazy over Loki? These characters have so much depth to them that people love them. These are the “good” villains.
To put your villain in the story and have them do things just so there is an obstacle to overcome happens a lot. Not every person in every story gets to have their back story told. So it can be difficult to know why the guy is sabotaging everything. If he/she is going to be a large part of the story then I like to know a little about them. Out of recent publications there are two bad guys that come to mind. The guys who we love to hate.
The first is Mr. Dodsworth from Kelly Martin’s Shattered Fairy Tale series. Here is a bad guy who thinks he is the hero. Kelly even wrote a novella from Dodsworth’s point of view which gives you a huge amount of insight into why he does what he does. He really believes that he is in the right. He is bent to destroy the happiness of the heroine and hero and it all goes back to their parents and how he thinks they wronged him. Mr. Dodsworth is evil, but he is a memorable villain.
Now we go to Warrior Beautiful and Warrior Everlasting by Wendy Knight. Ariston, this is a bad guy that the ladies will swoon over. He is handsome and broken. He wants to be loved, he wants to love. As you read and learn more about him you get the feeling that he is doing what he is doing only because he is hurt. I don’t know if that is what is really going on with him or not but when I think of him I think of how the girls went crazy for Loki. The villain who is wounded and you want to be the one to make him good again.
I like villains to have some depth to them. I want to know why they are that way. Are they simply evil? Do they think they are saving everyone by doing what they are? Are they trying to get revenge?
What do you think makes an interesting or good villain?