This week’s theme is villains! Instead of picking out favourite specific villains, I’m going for lists of things that make good villains (you know what I mean)! Or, if not good villains, then villains that I find interesting.
- They don’t just hate everyone. There are people and causes they care about; there are reasons for why they do what they do. Especially good is if they have people that care about them, who might not deserve the pain of losing them. Tasty conflict for all!
- They’re not just mentally ill. Half of the time it’s just a lazy way out anyway, and it’s also an excuse to stereotype mental illness, etc.
- They have a sense of humour. I’m sorry, I’m a sucker for a snarky bad guy.
- They have a cause, and it may even be a good one. Bring on the moral complexity! Someone going about something that’s worth doing, but doing it in the wrong way? Yeaaah, works for me.
- You can understand them. If they have a stupid grudge from a minor accident they had as a child, you can’t sympathise with that. The most powerful villains — to my mind, anyway — are the ones you can understand.
- You can’t understand them at all. On the flipside, a completely enigmatic villain can be amazing too. Especially in something with horror elements. It makes things more unpredictable.
- They have a sense of honour. They won’t strike a man while he’s down, etc. This goes hand in hand with a lot of the other stuff; they’re on the wrong side of the conflict, but you can’t help but wish they weren’t.
- They are redeemable. If they’re not, then you don’t have to worry if they’ll do the awful thing — you know they can and will. But if there’s hope of redemption, you can hope they won’t do the awful thing.
- They don’t reveal their own plans. I mean, really. If it needs saying…
- They do not have an evil laugh. That’d be a dead giveaway, right?
Okay, so tongue in cheek for some of those. I’m looking forward to seeing if anyone’s reccing some good villains!