I was reading a blog the other day about the virtues of a great protag and sub-plots. It was a great post and had valuable info. I mean who doesn't love a fantastic hero. But you know what? The hero can't be a hero with out someone to bounce his shiny teeth, shiny hair, shiny eyed virtuous self off of right?
Cue the Villain. Or Antagonist, for the smart people.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines villain as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot".
With out the villain everyone else is just that, everyone else. HHMM I do love a good villain. The ones that make you love to hate them and the ones that you hate to love. They want what the hero has and will stop at nothing to get it. Sometimes they are disfigured, the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera or beautiful (can't think of any right now but I know they exist). They are always there making mischief. Just when your knight in shining armor is set to rescue the princess the baddie sets fire to the castle. The villain is constantly out to thwart your hero's plans to save the little child from the runaway train. Heck, villains don't have to be someone. They can be the weather or Moby Dick from Moby Dick. They can be social standards like in Pride and Prejudice. You could have several villians. Maybe your story has a in your face villain or a more subtle one that keeps you guessing. You might not even know who you villain is until the very end of your story. You could have a book told BY the baddies pov.
My baddie in my wip is a narcissist and will stop at nothing to get rid of humanity. BUT he's hot so its easy to be duped by a pretty face you know. ;)
Either way, every single story MUST have a villain or baddie or antagonist if you want to sound intelligent. Here are some of my favorite baddies.
5. Sauron--LOTR tied with Satan --Paradise Lost
3. Magua--Last of the Mohicans (OMG I Love that movie and sound track)
2. Wicked Witch--The Wizard of Oz
1. Hannibal Lector--Silence of the Lambs (I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.)
So there you have my fav baddies. What are yours? What do you look for in a villain to make them believable but not over the top. Does your baddie have any must have traits?