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Author Topic: Method of writing villains...  (Read 471 times)

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Offline Tora_KeybladeMaster

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Method of writing villains...
« on: December 12, 2016, 01:59:15 PM »
There are several villain archetypes and tropes. But in thinking about the nuance and traits of some of my favorite villains like The Joker, Lex Luthor, Frieza, Meruem, Lord Dominator, and Zamasu to name a few, a thought crossed my find and that's the foundation of villains. Batman's rogue's gallery are based off of psychological disorders, Frieza is a sheltered prodigy who turns into cowardly brat when bested in battle, and Meruem asking who values power and genuine talent, albeit he's cynical about it.

This got me to thinking maybe I should use my own vices as inspiration for my villains going forward. I mean I've got fifteen years of frustration, hatred, bitterness, misanthropy, cynicism, nihilism, and arrogance to pull from. I feel it might serve me well pull from own experiences and understanding of what "pure evil" is going forward because I feel relying on the tropes of my favorite villains too much might limit me.

Offline Forlorn Serpent

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Re: Method of writing villains...
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 03:13:45 PM »
That is a good way if you want to add a personality.

Personally, this is how I think a good villain should be created.

Whatever your hero stands for, the antagonist should just focus on one aspect of the hero theme and take it to the extreme negatively. To the point where it makes sense why the villain got there. You can add your vices to round out the character. Personality doesn't make you evil. What you stand for does.


Pure evil doesn't exist. Pure evil is just what the majority don't agree with.
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: Method of writing villains...
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 05:33:24 PM »
The more you can draw from life, the more character you can give your creations. When in doubt, then follow your inspirations.

I will say though, if you can do it right sometimes having a villain who seems cut out of a comic book and high fantasy does work. Voldemort, Sauron and Tash (From Narnia) are pretty much this.

Rather than setting out to create a great archetype, focus on the story that you want to tell. If your story happens to revolve around a great villain sure, but try to keep the process as natural as possible.

What villains have you made so far?

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Re: Method of writing villains...
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 05:53:10 PM »
It's not a bad idea to pull from your own personal issues, but remember, that means you could end up with a villain that is pretty directed at your own social/age/etc group. Concentrate on things which are universal. Anger doesn't strike as true if its inspiration is not getting the right colored iPhone (not saying that's you)

Dig deep, find the most basic forms of things.

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Offline Tora_KeybladeMaster

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Re: Method of writing villains...
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 10:10:18 PM »
That is a good way if you want to add a personality.

Personally, this is how I think a good villain should be created.

Whatever your hero stands for, the antagonist should just focus on one aspect of the hero theme and take it to the extreme negatively. To the point where it makes sense why the villain got there. You can add your vices to round out the character. Personality doesn't make you evil. What you stand for does.


Pure evil doesn't exist. Pure evil is just what the majority don't agree with.

Geez, I forgot about how the villain has to work as the counter balancing opposite of the hero. But in a way that works for me. See the reason I said "I have an understanding of what pure evils," is because I'm a spiritual person with an understanding that choices made cause people to willingly or ignorantly become agents of harmony or chaos... The series of events we live through causes us to come to the conclusions we have in our lives--.

And even as I tell you this I realize how I NEVER used this personalized understanding as a foundation for any of my heroes or villains throughout my history as a writer. I've always gone with traits I've found cool about villains and heroes... Crap. -_-Wellbetter late than never I suppose.

The more you can draw from life, the more character you can give your creations. When in doubt, then follow your inspirations.

I will say though, if you can do it right sometimes having a villain who seems cut out of a comic book and high fantasy does work. Voldemort, Sauron and Tash (From Narnia) are pretty much this.

Rather than setting out to create a great archetype, focus on the story that you want to tell. If your story happens to revolve around a great villain sure, but try to keep the process as natural as possible.

What villains have you made so far?

I apologize as I didn't make it clear, as I'm not saying that writing a villain based of of comic-book and fantasy archetypes is a bad thing. I'm just saying that I've relied too much on a small range of archetypes without pulling from my own experiences to create a villain's personality. I also never took time to give a villain personality of their own, as they generally act as obstacles for the hero to overcome.

For example during this past thanksgiving I pledged if ISIS was going to attack New York during the parade, that I'd build a robot army to wipe humanity off the face of the Earth. Because the thing is I'm to an extent weary of humanity's petty reasons and excuses for domestic and international conflict, and again find myself deeming humanity unfit to exist.

So for example I could use that to create a villain who rules a dystopian world with a robot army.

As for the villains I've made so far, well there's too many to count, as I've been incredibly prolific in the thirteen years I've been writing original fiction. So I'll go through some of my favorites:

Hellzirack(dumb name I know, but I was 13 when I came up with him): A Demon emperor who first encounters the protagonist of my second comic series "Gold Hunter" while he oversees a facility that experiments on demons, angels, and mutants. He's short tempered, sarcastic, and delights in destruction and death as demons typically do in fiction.

Jason:Jason is a minion more or less tasked with getting the protagonist of my novel series "Princess Of The Damned" to Israel to bring about the Apocalypse. In thinking about it, there's nothing to his personality.In the second book I intend to unveil that he has a relationship with the secondary protagonist, Anna. But prior to that I didn't think to flesh him out. I'd make the excuse of"How I wrote him when I was 16." But Jason was inspired by a kid I knew in theater class of the same name. I should've based the character off of him, as the character might be enjoyable personality wise.

Crudrik:The antagonist of my annual Halloween series "Hollow Warriors," as he's a demon out to conquer the world of man. Much like Hellzirack, he delights in destruction and is sarcastic. And that's it.

Money Monster Mikenstein:Would you believe me if I told you this monster was inspired the Boogie Man from The Power Puff Girls and a pimp named "Magic Money Mike" from the film "Friday After Next?" Well Mikenstein was the antagonist to a crossover series I created called "Happy Halloween" that I wrote in high school. He's a demonic pimp who feeds off the energy provided by his hoes, and he actually falls in love with one who bears him a son. Aside from his affection to this subordinate, Mikenstein is easy going, delights in destruction, is arrogant, and of course like a lot of villainsI've created he's very powerful.

Joketler:"He's a demon clown set to rule magical kingdom. That's about all there is to him as I haven't finished the book he's in." His by the way was meant to be a mix between "Joker" and "Hitler," though I didn't think to use that to craft his character...Until now...

Jezebel:"I'm not sure I should share this one, but Jezebel is a dragon who seeks conquest of the fantasy realm "Fantasia." The reason for my mild apprehension about sharing this is because she's the antagonist of my initial book "The Mystic Rider" which inspired by "My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic." :p But regardless Jezebel is short tempered, arrogant,and say it with me now:"delights in destruction."

You probably see a reoccurring trend with these villains. A trend that is plagued most of the villains I've created, as they're all hollow veils of what makes a villain.

It's not a bad idea to pull from your own personal issues, but remember, that means you could end up with a villain that is pretty directed at your own social/age/etc group. Concentrate on things which are universal. Anger doesn't strike as true if its inspiration is not getting the right colored iPhone (not saying that's you)

Dig deep, find the most basic forms of things.

Okay this is getting sad on my end, as I forgotten how my villain's desires and motives need to be rooted in a universal foundation so audience can root against him or sympathize with him. So thanks for the reminder. Take Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising Revengeance for example. He's frustrated with the way America is with the general masses lacking individuality, the political parties and corporations manipulating them, and how war is used to boost the economy.(Among other things...) This are my very frustrations with America too, and I'm not the only one.

Then you've got the Joker's philosophy in "The Killing Joke," is that to avoid going overboard from "that one bad day," and snapping is to see the joke in life. A joke mind you that The Joker himself doesn't seem to get as henries to prove that everyone is as crazy as he is. It's a philosophy that makes some sense, but you see how he uses "Life's a joke" to justify his criminal acts.

Then you've got Megatron of G1, IDW comics, The War For Cybertron games, and Transformers Prime who merely wanted equality for lesser privileged cybertronians. But his arrogance, nihilism, and ego corrupted his ideals to where he and the deceptions killed anything that opposed them.

Every villain I've created thus far is just a foe the hero has to beat. This is sad...
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 11:22:55 PM by Tora_KeybladeMaster »

Offline Grimmjagger

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Re: Method of writing villains...
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2017, 04:53:26 PM »
For me a great villain is when he/she as nice background story and a solid goal, IMO a plain "I want to destroy everything!" isn't sign of a good villain but a basic one, a villain most have a decent goal to accompany his/her backstory and somehow make people can feel like he/she does but dosen't or wouldn't follow the same path as the villain does but would have been a option too.

Aizen was great.

Offline Justice_Rises

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Re: Method of writing villains...
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 02:13:00 AM »
Great Villains are the ones who can evolve the hero and mold him into what he can be. Thats why Joker is so important to Batman, and Colonel Jessup is to Lt. Kaffee.

Offline Walter B

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Re: Method of writing villains...
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 07:02:43 PM »
A great villain shouldnt be just plain evil for the sake of being evil, rather have a motivation contrary to the hero.

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