Tuesday, 26 August 2014

My Villainous Side

Well ... okay, not my villainous side per se, but my villains.

I'm in a worldbuilding mood at the moment and, amongst others things, that brings me to deciding on an antagonist. It's been a very long time since I saw any of them as cut-and-dry evil and have a strange liking for some ever since William Shakespeare entered my school curriculum.
Yet, when it comes to creating them, I find myself favouring "unhinged" as a part of their general makeup. Honestly, I think my muse finds me doing the whole "figuring out why they are like that" as part of her daily entertainment. That or just enjoy torturing myself.

Either way, there tends to be two main types of villain that I lean towards...


The powerful, but bat-shit-crazy, deity

I've actually got three of these in the same world. Fortunately, they've different levels of crazy and different goals. Still ... not good for the protagonist. Character development-wise, their goals are relatively simple and can be pegged under world-dominating. These guys are the big bads who rely on their lackeys to get things done ... most of the time.
With them being immortal, I found it all too tempting to handwave the reasoning behind why they're bat-shit-crazy, but - surprise, surprise - having reasons gave them more depth. In every case, it's an old reason that also moulded them into what they are now.
To be fair, I've also got a non-bat-shit-crazy version of this agonists. She's less fun.


The vengeful noble out to destroy their enemy, no matter the cost

This just may be my go-to villain as I've quite a number of these (about ... five, I think) and plans for others to crop up in some sequels. I think the logical motivation needed to make a villain like this work is what makes them believable. Yeah, some aren't any less bat-shit-crazy than the deities, but without the all-powerfulness to get things done, that's when things get interesting for me.
On the other hand, I'm not sure why it's practically always a noble (and sometimes set against someone of equally noble birth). It just seems to fall that way.


Of course, there are other types of villains and obstacles along the way (no need to make things too easy for them). But I've nowhere near the same number of them as I do the above types.

So, what types of villains do you find yourself writing? Or even reading?

2 comments:

  1. I think Lorric fits the first bill. :)

    I don't know what type of villain Ira counts as. She'll do anything to return to her home, including mass slaughter to find the ninier. I wouldn't call her crazy, though Kaio might argue with me, but she's not out to kill her enemies (they're more like pests than enemies anyways).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorric could be the poster boy for bat-shit-crazy deity.

      I always thought Ira was out to kill everybody, not just her enemies. I do agree with Kaio. Justifiable, maybe. But insanity is still insanity and all that.

      Delete