Hello Kingmaker Followers!
I’m back once again, this time with some helpful hints and tips on something I adore doing; creating a villain. I get an immense pleasure from creating a seriously powerful antagonist. There’s something about making one that just makes me smile, is that my inner bad guy? Possibly. I won’t delve too deep into that thought, though.
So let’s get started! Of course, there will be some headers, let’s break this down into sections.
Any good villain has a motivation, a want, a need. There is something he craves, whether it be wanton destruction or to kill a certain person. Maybe he just likes killing people, he could want something precious to him. You can look at any bad guy in a film or book and see what motivates them. Usually this is broken down into three categories.
Some bad guys/villains/antagonists just want money, plain and simple. These guys are so heavily motivated by it, they will take it in any way they can to fund their life styles. It doesn’t take much for them to see an opportunity and take it. If it’s gold or silver, they want it in their pockets. Want an example? How about Hans Gruber from Die Hard? This man wanted money so badly, he took on Bruce Willis and lost.
These guys are power crazed, whether it’s for a high powered job or to be royalty, they want it. They’ll go out of their way to take what they want, usually by either scheming or force. They aren’t afraid to take what they think is rightfully theirs. Want an example? How about Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter? This guy was such a powerful wizard that wanted more power and built an army of followers to get it and secure it.
Now these guys are arguably the most dangerous of the three. Villains of chaos have a tendency to want to put an end to everything, leaving a destructive path in their wake. Some kill for the fun of it, some kill because they believe they were sent to do so, but either way, they do it with little regard for anyone else around them. You want a good example of a Chaos Villain? Look no further than The Joker from Batman: The Dark Knight.
Of course, every villain is different. Just as life shapes us as human beings, life also changes these people for the worse, feeding off their past experiences, shaping them into the baddies that they are. Every single one of them are unique in their traits, their mannerisms. Here’s a few suggestions on what kind of character traits to include in your villain of choice.
It goes without saying that most villains are charismatic men, turning heads and minds to their cause of choice. These men or women can be extremely dangerous, finding people who are useful to them and exploiting them until they are no longer useful. Depending on what kind of villain you have, it might even lead to them killing their victim once they’ve finished. These guys are usually in the Power group.
I use the term loosely, these people are very dangerous in their ability to interact with other people as if they care. Often having a close circle of friends and being the most helpful person you have met. But they have a darker side, harbored deep inside them they care about you less than you think. They are predators, lacking emotional connection but have an extreme ability to fake them. These guys are usually in the Power group, looking for a way in to something they want.
These people believe firmly that they were put on the earth to do something, whether it was by god or just that they were chosen, they believe it with all their heart. Tasking themselves with something that makes no sense to anyone else, they follow their path with a strict code. Some of them can be ethical, refusing to kill certain people because they believe they are good or killing them because they perceive them as evil. These Guys are usually in the Chaos group but can also be in the Power Group, depending on whether he has built a following.
The Narcissist is a strange villain, incredibly vain and self glorifying, they love to be regarded as the best at what they do. If they aren’t, they tend to become angry and lash out aggressively. No one else could possibly be better than them, they’re the best at what they do. These guys are usually in the Power group.
Whatever happened to this guy, it sent him nuts. He finds it hard to deal with things, constantly moving, pacing, rubbing his hands or scratching his head. Some hear voices that guide them or believe themselves to be freeing the world of the evils within. These guys are usually within the chaos group.
He’s a thief, what more do you want? He loves gold and silver, steals when he can and does it without being seen usually. Of course, every good thief is completely unknown until an unfortunate capture. Driven by a lust for money, these guys are obviously in the Money group.
Of course, these guys are incredibly smart, usually staying two steps ahead of the hero with their plotting and scheming. They love the thrill of a plan well laid and executed. How can they not? They’ve planned for every eventuality. They truly believe they cannot be stopped and if even if they can, they have a contingency. These guys can fall in any of the Money, Power or Chaos categories.
The Could Have Been
You can’t help but feel sorry for this villain. He had a hard time growing up, the events in his life were skewed and left him in tatters. He’s an emotional wreck, but found solace in something. He’s the hero that could have been. Powerful and determined, crazed and intelligent, he could have been the hero of the story if things hadn’t gone so badly for him. But it did. And when no one came to help him, he helped himself. And hated everyone for their ignorance. These guys can fit in all of the categories.
These guys tend to be ones with a grudge. Usually an earlier run in with the hero gets their attention. They plan, plot and scheme all in the name of revenge. They are merciless in their pursuit and stop at nothing to inflict any kind of pain they can against their victim, be it emotional or physical. These guys can be found in the Chaos category.
This is the final piece of the puzzle, the villains past experiences. What brought them to be the person they are? Why are they doing all of the evil things? Who in their right mind is this insane?! Your villain is. Try and think why your villain is the way he is. Was it something that happened to him as a child? An illness? A beating? Being left alone to fend for themselves? Were they recruited at a young age into a super secret society of evil assassins? Only you know that. Once you know why, you can better understand your character, your villain. Harness their passion and hatred, put it on the page and send them off into your world for your hero to try and stop.
But can a true villain, ever be stopped?
- Mark Millar’s Nemesis: The Villain that deserves a movie (scifigasm.com)
- Heroes vs Villains (wesleyvoght.wordpress.com)
- Villains in Medieval Literature: Obviously Evil (alyssamanzari.wordpress.com)
- My top five fictional villains (theguardian.com)
- Welcome to Villain Awareness Month! (valourborn.wordpress.com)
- The Kingmaker: Architect or Gardener? (kingmakersaga.wordpress.com)