Writer’s Quote Wednesday is a fabulously fun and (sometimes) frantic bit that Colleen over at Silver Threadings has been fronting for a long time now. To see the post put up in her honor today (Ronovan, no one was fooled dear. Sorry.) check out this Mark Twain quote post, which is a fabulous little bit about character.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is also what I want to talk about today. However, instead of discussing the type of character one shows through ones words, or the type of character a character seems to be through their language, I want to talk about the flip side of any good character…the villain. (bum, bum, BAAA).
Hook, in Once Upon a Time anyway, works through his story and slowly becomes a hero.
I know I may have mentioned this once, or twice, before but I am often more drawn to the villain of a story. I can identify more with them, I can understand their convoluted reasoning, wants, and deepest (if not darkest) desires. There is a part buried deep within us that has those moments, those gut wrenching, knee-jerking, heart twisting villainous thoughts…and most of us choose not to go with those thoughts. However, those of us who are writers can use them to infuse our antagonists with real zeal and lifelike qualities…like an action figure of Darth Vader or Thanos.
Remember that the villain does not usually start out evil and bent on revenge…there is something that pushes them to it. Whether it be slight, imagined, or a huge cosmic twist, something happened and villains cry for help too.
The idea of hero and villain is very fluid and that is something I adore. Hook did save Peter a few times, after all, and the Beast becomes a prince with Belle’s love. Because they are seen. Because people try…seeing them as evil alone leaves them that way.
Loki may have a villainous agenda, but he honestly sees himself as working toward the good of his people, of his family, and of himself.
Villains are even more difficult to make believable than heroes. Heroes can have that ‘too good to be true’ quality about them and still be beloved (*ahem* Captain America *ahem*). Villains won’t be believable like that.
While I never believed that Draco was completely ruthless, the point here is that villains with no soft spots are unbelievable. They fall flat, no matter how horrid they are .
Oh, but we do!
Alan Rickman, the amazing man who brought total life to Severus Snape, is a grand example. As he says, you are not supposed to like Snape. However, the baggage he slowly unpacks has us all feeling for someone we thought was the bad guy. And maybe he is in some places, but really he is just trying to do what he can to save the world his love tried to protect. The romance in the villainy has people the world over seeing the word “Always” in a new and different light.
If you want to see how your villain(s) stack up, check out the Better Novel Project’s post about it here and the One Year Adventure Novel’s post on writing good villains here.
Every villain has motive, these 39 give us a great place to leap from when discovering the catalyst for our characters.
So what do amazingly well done, interesting, sometimes even beloved villains look like? Well, let me show you a few:
The Joker is a multi-dimensional, insane, murderous villain…who loves and who, in some twisted way, sees Batman as his best friend as well as biggest foe.
Dr. Harleen Frances Quinze, Harley Quinn, a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who helped the Joker escape and had her license revoked when it was discovered. She escaped her cell during an earthquake and became the fun loving Harley Quinn. Joker’s sidekick and love. Their love caused a lot of horrific things…like Harley being sent off in a rocket! Complex emotions are difficult for us all…
Not only is this a great question for anyone pushing to obtain their dreams…it is the basic principle for villains. Pick out the nemesis and find a way to get around them.
Do you have a favorite quote about villains? Who is YOUR favorite villain? Do you adore a villain or two that other people can’t understand? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Have perfectly multi-faceted day everyone! Happy quoting.