Regardless if I’m writing a paranormal, a cougar romance, or a steamy romance, suspense will be an element and most likely someone will be murdered. So I know the importance of a ‘good’ villain and by good I don’t mean nice. My villains are evil…bad to the core. Few have had any redeeming qualities (my young adult does but that is the only one).
I enjoy writing villains that bad. I don’t my readers to feel sorry for him/her. I have talked to fellow authors who feel villains need a ‘good’ side to appear human.
Even though your villain is ‘all’ bad he/she still needs layers to avoid being a ‘cardboard’ figure. He/she needs a goal, motivation, and conflict. There has to be a reason for them to be a villain – something besides a bad mother or they were raised in foster care. Yes, both of these are awful and can result in issues but in my opinion they are over used so they no longer provoke any real emotion from the reader.
While Cruella is a very simple villain and would not hold up well in adult fiction she still is a great example of a pure evil villain. Why does she do what she does? Cruella loved furs. Simple – no mention of foster care or a mother that made her go without clothes in the winter – it’s just a love. I have an explainable love for donuts – I don’t kill for them, however, my kiddos knew better than to take mine J Cruella’s love (motivation), however, drove her to attempt to do socially unacceptable things (goal – have a coat made of puppy fur). The conflict comes in the length she has to go to get the puppies and where to keep them. And of course, it’s hard to find good help when you are kidnapping puppies to make a coat. Not one of personal conflict, she feels no remorse for what she does, it’s all external conflict.
What are some of your favorite villains and why?