Best Villain Ever

So lately I’ve been catching up on the Glee episodes I’ve missed, and I’ve decided that Sue Sylvester is one of the greatest villains ever.

First, she comes off as being so completely heartless. She does some really awful things that make my jaw drop and just plain make me mad. She’s a horrible person.

Right?

Well, but then we find out that the one person in the world that she really, 100% cares for is her sister who has Downs Syndrome. And she obviously really loves her. Ok, so she can’t be truly all bad. Not completely heartless.

Other things we slowly find out about her is that her mother wasn’t around, she was probably bullied, and life in general didn’t seem to treat her very well. Which explains a little bit about why she is the way she is.

And on occasion she even does something that resembles niceness. Like on the Christmas episode. In that one episode I both hated her and then had a little spark of liking for her.

What makes her such a great villain is that she isn’t a flat character. As the show goes on, you can see more of her motivations, and it’s more than just “I’m a mean you-know-what who wants to take the Glee Club down because I hate them.” It’s more complicated than that.

While I was reworking some things on Melisma, I realized that I didn’t know my villain’s motivation. He didn’t have any depth. But when I searched deeper, I was able to discover that his reasons were more than just “I’m a bad guy who wants power.”

I know you always hear these things about writing your villains by not making them “all bad.” But I wanted to put my two cents in on the subject too. And I’d suggest making sure you do a character sketch of your villain (if you haven’t already). Give him or her redeeming qualities and make him a fully fleshed out character like Sue Sylvester.

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About Karen Krueger

I write for teens when I'm not chasing after two cute kids. I love to sing and eat cereal (though not at the same time), and I most certainly am not a vampire because I'm addicted to sunshine.
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3 Responses to Best Villain Ever

  1. Chersti says:

    So glad you are figuring out Melisma!

    I think you’ve got it, though. No one can be a flat character. In my story, I have a villain who is generally a good guy, but he believes in the wrong things. Basically that the ends justify the means, and the end result is truly what is best overall.

    I love Joss Whedon’s shows, because all of his villains are absolutely amazing! They have great motivation for being the way they are, like you explained with Sue. Once we understand why a character is the way they are, we see them as more human.

    Great post!

  2. Suey says:

    Damon from The Vampire Diaries is also an excellent villain and has all the qualities you describe here.

  3. Villains are always tough for me too. I think the tough thing is that I know what their good/bad traits are, but I don’t always know how to show it! That’s the problem I’m having in Devolutionaries at the moment. I’ve got some ideas, though.

    Good luck with Melisma! I’m glad you’re figuring out how to make it better than it already is! 🙂

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