gtbsayso sent: I always have trouble making a true diabolical villian.I try to but the character always develops into grey morality. How does one make a truely evil villian?

Ooh, interesting! Personally, I much prefer stories with characters that are grey rather than stark black and white, but I know that it’s not always what you need/want (sometimes, you just have to have that truly evil character).

Here are a couple of things you can try doing:

  • Forget the backstory. My villains always become more sympathetic when I give them a reason for being evil. If they don’t have a reason (or, at least, if a reason is never mentioned) then they instantly become 100x evil-er.
  • Remember that ‘evil’ and ‘insane’ are often synonymous in this context. Think Moriarty (especially the BBC TV version). If your villain is impossible to predict because they’re actually nuts, they’ll be much creepier.
  • Make them scarily determined. In some books, villains just refuse to die. Like, they go through absolutely heaps to get at the hero but are still alive. Somehow. I don’t know about you, but I find that terrifying. Or maybe  just play up the almost obsessive fixation your villain has with destroying your MC - like Javert in Les Mis. His determination is scary as hell.
  • Make them do really horrible stuff. When I’m trying to make my villains more sympathetic, I give them nice traits, give them small moments when we can catch a glimpse of them not being a total douche. Don’t do this. In fact, do the exact opposite.
  • Think of all the worst, scariest, horriblest, most evil villains. Think about what they have in common, where they differ. Looking at what other people have done is often a real help when coming up with your own stuff.
  • Never let them feel remorse. Don’t give them any moments when they seem sympathetic, or maybe even human at all.
  • If they don’t even have an obvious motive, then I just want to go hide under a duvet. Lack of reasonable motive is goddamn terrifying.

You can also take a look at these things I’ve found for ya:

Hope this has helped! Good luck!


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    I agree by a large with this post - unpredictable, determined, no remorse and a motive whose logic is completely out of...
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