The Hardest Character to Write – Good/Bad Villains
|Snidely Whiplash – Wrongdoer_by_pengabob|
Writing villains, writing ‘good’ villains, can be difficult, because even in reality not all villains see themselves as villains. In one of my books the villain definitely doesn’t see himself as the bad guy, he’s convinced that he’s doing the right thing. In another book, the concept of right or wrong simply doesn’t occur to him, he’s at best a sociopath and probably a psychopath, before there was a term for either.
When I wrote a particular character, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of him, but an even harder time trying to understand why people would follow someone like him. It was too easy to paint him as some unknowable individual, I wanted readers to understand him and those who went along with him. *laughing* It wasn’t until I watched an episode of Survivor that I really understood. The ‘villain’ there wasn’t truly a villain, and certainly didn’t see himself as this monomaniacal individual – which he was – and the people around him didn’t either. He was their social leader, and he was the means to reach the possibility of a million dollars. For both those reasons, they were willing to follow him.