Mwahahahah Mwhahahaahahah MWAHAHAHAHAHHA:
Sorry about that, right – lets talk Villains, “boooo, hissssss” feel like I’m at the Pantomime here sorry. These lovable rouges are the bane of not only the MC’s life but the writers as well. A good villain will have your readers cursing and shouting at the pages. Whilst a two dimensional bad guy will have them resigning your novel to a coffee coaster.
In many ways the Antagonist is more important than your MC (or at least on par). And the key to making this ‘bad decision making – super evil, puppy drowning, sweet stealing’ villain is dimensions.
Your told when writing that you need to create a link between your MC and the reader – this is also true for the antagonist. You need a pinch of mystery, a sprinkling of pity and a lot of hate to bake this friendship just right.
No one, and I mean NO ONE is relating to;
Author “He wants to destroy all life on Earth.”
Author “Why? He’s the bad guy, dummy. It’s what they do.”
Hell even Darth Vader has a back story! You need people to be reading, thinking ‘I can see how it got to this.’ Lets look at how to get your head into the mindset of a super villain with a look at the world we live in today.
Do you think that Hitler thought he was the ‘bad guy’ or Russia is sitting there going “you know what America’s right were so evil.” No! Evil is subjective to the culture you live in and the parameters set by that culture. EVERYONE thinks they are the good guys.
It’s called your point of view. PoV is responsible for nearly every war / fight / argument in the history of mankind. We don’t have big mouths and little ears for nothing right?
PoV is going to be the secret sauce in creating your villain. If you can make your readers ‘relate’ to your antagonists ideas (not support, just relate. We don’t want a Mein Kampf situation on our hands)
Then they will be invested in his struggles, this paired with a strong protagonist will rocket your book deep into the squidgy feely parts of your readers hearts. (just tried to look up squidgy readers on google images – don’t do it)
So writers! Make sure you invest time in an antagonist that isn’t just there to be defeated in the last chapter, use it as a tool to make your readers question which side they are really on.