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Author Topic: Villain Ideas.  (Read 243 times)

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Offline Silver

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Villain Ideas.
« on: September 28, 2017, 03:54:33 PM »
I'm a bit curious about this subject but what do you guys think of villain characters in terms of their motives? I'm going to make quite a few villains for my story but should I give them all the same common goal? Something they all want to achieve? or does it make a villain more realistic and believable if I have all of them have different reasons for doing the things they do? Just curious what you guys do? Feed back is very much appreciated!

Offline Vio

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 04:14:50 PM »
It depends on the story and its context. For example, you can have a story about a tournament that grants one wish to the winner. The villains can have a common goal, to be the winner for the wish, but what will be their motivation, reasoning, and method for achieving their goal will be important to distinguish between themselves. :hmm:

Offline Rance

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 11:47:08 PM »
I find the villains who are bad because of extenuating circumstances to be more interesting (except the overused "my little brother/sister is in the hospital and I have to get the medicine we can't afford or they will die!'). My all time favorite is Marvel's Dr. Doom. There is a guy with a ton of problems, huge ego, not afraid to be evil but still has streak of compassion deep down. If there is a bit of empathy for the character or when committing bad deeds they have a moment of doubt about their motives, that's someone who has my interest.

Offline eukocar

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 12:47:25 AM »
I think the commun soldier from an axis country during the second world war would fit the criteria. Maybe south Italians.

Offline MadOxMalachi

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2017, 03:00:43 AM »
Protagonist and the Antagonist motives/goals are in conflict (to achieve one the other must fail theirs) and that is why the Protagonist and the Antagonist are in conflict. That's the first level relationship the villian should have with the hero.

The second level is between villains and other villains who are not on the same team. Take that to mean what you will to answer your questions.

Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 09:30:22 AM »
At its base MadOxMalachi has it well put, the villain must be in conflict with the protagonist. From there it depends on what or who the villain is. One type is the main villain is a big bad guy deal, Sauron or Emperor Palpatine to name two of the most classic. Both of these villains are the leaders of big bad empire's which are villains on their own, but in both cases they are the head of the metaphorical snake that is the whole villain to the heroes of their stories.

To go to what Vio said, it really depends on what kind of story you want to tell. If you're telling a story about a sailor stranded on an island then the main villain will be the island itself, and perhaps once the hero conquers that, the villain becomes a part of the sailor battling to remain sane by himself while waiting for rescue.

Going to Eukocar's example, the common soldier from an axis country during World War 2 can fit the criteria. You can take that in many different directions. One seemingly random enemy soldier who kills the protagonist's buddy can become the target of the protagonist's lust for revenge, as he hunts the guy down. I personally don't like throwing the common trooper under the bus without provocation, very often the real villain in war, is the war itself, or the causes behind it, politics, religion etc.

Building on what Rance said, villains who are 'bad' for a reason are some of the best. He also has a big point that the family member that is sick or dying being the cause of the creation of the villain is overused, but if done in a creative way I believe it can be quite enjoyable.

No matter what as the writer you must know why your villain is doing what they're doing, and you must want them to succeed as much as they want to, or else the villain will feel weak and flat. A good way to think about it is to look through the eyes of your antagonist and see that from their perspective they are the hero, and they will stop at nothing to attain victory.

In my own main story, I'm covering a Civil War, and I root for the Merchant Republican Rebels just as much as I root for the Imperial Loyalists. I have my preference of course because I am the god of that world and I know all of the elements that caused the bloodshed but that doesn't stop me from wanting both sides to win equally, they both have valid points. That is what I think makes one of the best antagonists, is when they have a valid point they are trying to make. They may just be going about it the wrong way.

Alright, I've rambled more than long enough, I hope this helps you out and I look forward to seeing what you come up with.  :thumbsup:

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 09:32:32 PM »
Well I can't add much here haha. Fortis pretty much broke down every point and contribution. All I can say is that never underestimate how cliche villains can be! It's quite realistic to have a mad superpowerful dicator sort of villain who simply want's to wipe out a country or population. If you look into history enough you'll know what I mean.

What is important though is to be able to write these people without hiding their words, thoughts or actions. It's hard for me to write good villains because I'm disgusted by truly bad ones, but the mark of a good writer is the ability to write douchey people without censoring them or holding them back from their personalities. That way you engage the reader even more.

Offline MadOxMalachi

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 10:21:39 AM »
History doesn't provide an oversimplied, insensitive, and unrealistic take on horrific events to have conspired. History has real human beings, not cliche characters.

Offline araithiel

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Re: Villain Ideas.
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 10:22:50 PM »
Giving villains a common goal or each a unique one is more a question of why you would do it than a question of what is good/bad within a villain. Similar to above points, villains generally need to be a reflection of the protagonist. Often they are what the protagonist could have been if they had taken a different turn on the same path. So they have a lot of similarities and can clearly see each other for their equal points.

Typically yes, they have opposing goals in which if either fails the other achieves. However, the use of this can create really hollow villains if the opposition doesn't push the hero from their original path. For example, superheroes struggle with interesting villains, particular in one-shot films, because the villain isn't doing anything different from what the hero was already going to do (destroy the city/world the hero swore to protect anyways). So a villain who opposes a heroes overall day-to-day objective is more of just an everyday obstacle than something remarkable.

However, villains and heroes can share the same goals, which often makes them more compelling if done right, they just select different paths to get there. You can see this in another superhero film, The Dark Knight, where both Batman and the Joker are vying for the soul of Gotham. It's also explored in Deathnote where L and Kira have identical goals of ridding the world of crime, but radically different approaches.

More often a villain is also extremely compelling and convincing, and have goals and desires that align with ones regular people can get behind and believe in. When a villain wants to simply blow up the world, they're not interesting because virtually nobody would do that regardless of the logic. When they want to kill criminals as a means of stopping crime, they kind of have a point to certain people in certain lights. It may be a slightly twisted or deranged one, but it is a point. Usually we laud the heroes because they stepped in and stopped the villain when we were starting to side with them a little too much, and remind us that we would choose to do the right thing. This also creates interesting scenarios in which neither option is right or wrong, just different, and that the villain is only an antagonist because we're following the hero, but could certainly have the roles flipped. Deathnote or Zetman being interesting examples, Zetman in particular asking a lot of questions about who gets to play the role of hero and who gets to decide what actions are specifically heroic while others aren't.

You can consider a villain-hero relationship as more of a debate than as a rock-beats-scissors scenario. They both have valid points to make to try and sway the audience. If they just yell and rant, they're meaningless. Psycho-Pass is basically an entire season of just watching two people argue and they both make good points, and even though the villain makes good points, you kind of know by the end you shouldn't take their path, but you can also see why and, from time to time, you can kind of think about what it would be like if you did take that path. That's how they stick around in people's memories.
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