Most readers love heroes and heroines because they yearn to associate with the good guys. They want to see good triumph over evil. They want the vicarious thrill of a happily-ever-ending. Little girls want to grow up to be Princess Leia. Little boys want to grow up to be Luke Skywalker. No one wants to grow up to be the Wicked Witch of the West or Darth Vader.
Yet, readers remain fascinated by villains. They often drive the story with their complex natures. Why would someone do such evil things? We want to know what drives these madmen and madwomen to commit the crimes they do. Who wasn’t totally intrigued by Voldemort’s back-story? Or Darth Vader’s? Or Cruella De Vil? Or the Wicked Witch of the West?
However, too often authors succumb to writing stereotypical villains. Lois has told me that even the vilest of vile villains has to have a reason for his or her vileness. Snidely Whiplash is one-dimensional. We want to read about 3-dimensional characters, and that’s not limited just to the protagonists of a story. Villains count. They drive plots forward. Without them, the story has no conflict.
Who are some of your favorite fictional villains? Post a comment for a chance to win an audiobook of your choice of either Death by Killer Mop Doll or Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, the second and third books in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series about yours truly.
Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes!
That is a good one, Kathleen. Thanks for commenting.
The Terminator was a terrifying villain. But then, I fell in love with him in later movies when he helped Sarah against an even more petrifying updated Terminator.
Pamela, a redeemed villain always an interesting character arc. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Captain Hook from Peter Pan, and also Hannibal Lector from Thomas Harris' Red Dragon-he's unforgettable.
Two very different villains, Maggie! Thanks for stopping by.
My favorite villain is Silas in The DaVinci Code. He is complex and thinks he is doing God's work in his murdering. He is terrifying, yet he has been used and abused all his life as well.
Silas was definitely a complex villain, Avery. Thanks for commenting.
Post a Comment