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Villains!

NaNo is approaching and I have a land, some cultures and reasonably well-fleshed out characters - but I don't have a plot.

The main thing that's been holding me back is that I just can't write villains. Well, not good ones anyway. I always seem to struggle to justify their actions, so they're either so dumb that I can explain it away by them being misled, or good-guys-that-went-off-the-tracks somewhere.

Sooo, what I'd really appreciate from you guys are (a) some ideas of what you believe makes a good villain and/or (b) a list of some of your favourites. Even if you just give me a few names so I can wiki them (Is that even a verb? It is now!), I'd be happy. I just need something to springboard my own ideas.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
juneprota
Oct. 23rd, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC)
I think the best villians are the ones you're not sure whether to love or hate. I like villians with a totally fucked up past, and maybe at one point they were good. But, too many bad things happened when they were young. I like it when I can be a little sad that the villian died. Of course he has to die or be banished or whatever. But, I feel kind of sorry for him sometimes. I also love really intelligent villians, ones that can really justify their actions. Maybe they're evil for some greater cause. I'm thinking Magneto (sp?) from the X-Men here. I'm always of the belief that people/creatures aren't naturally evil, something made them that way. Whether it's a chemical imbalance or a messed up past. Mentally ill is always a way to go with villians too. Okay, I'm done rambling. Hope that was of some use to you.
lucy_lupin
Oct. 25th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
I love Magneto. He's such an intelligent, compelling character and while you don't agree with him, you understand why he's doing it.

I think the best villians are the ones you're not sure whether to love or hate.

Oh, me too. I don't like reading books where the good characters and the villains are so polarised that it's easy to distinguish between them. I like the differentuation between good and bad to be a little mirky - with some variation in between.

I like it when I can be a little sad that the villian died.

I'm thinking in particular of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings series here. While strictly speaking he's a villain and has done some shocking things, you can't help but feeling a little sorry for him and sad when he dies.

Thanks for commenting!
tamerterra
Oct. 23rd, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
I reckon that the best villians are the ones that think they're doing good (or at least 'normal') when you're in their head - but when you get into someone elses head it's like a shock of how wrong the villains are in the context of the fantasy-land.
lucy_lupin
Oct. 25th, 2006 12:03 am (UTC)
Yes, I have a character in mind for that sort of scenario. While he's not the supreme bad guy, he's being manipulated by some sort of outside force and ends up doing some terrible things. His basic justification is that if it's for good, then any action becomes acceptable - which leads to some pretty messed up stuff.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )