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.
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.