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The Fanfiction Nymph
Recently I got stuck trying to create a more prefect villain for myself and I was curious...
What do you think quantifies a truly hate-able villain?

A villain who can very easily choose the good side but chooses the bad out of habit or since it's all he's ever known.
SaskiaDono's avatar

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Well, in one of my stories, the villain character didn't start out evil but later on decided to become so out of habit. He falls in love with a traveling magician while he is romantically involved with the owner of the town pub. He decides to pursue the magician without first breaking things off with the Pub owner. The pub owner, with a rough past and known to go into fits of depression, has fallen madly in love with the villain and becomes heart broken due to her suspicions of him trying to leave her. The magician, who is dear friends with the pub owner, tries to fix the situation. At this point, the villain doesn't care and is only with the pub owner out of pity and the begging of the magician. He then tells the magician that he loves her and threatens her if she tells the pub owner.
So in short, the villain is a character that is after what he wants even if it means sacrificing innocent lives. So make him crude and rude. Get into his head, what is he after, what does he want, and what is he willing to do to get it. Every action and expression he has has to embody his wants and wishes which, making him the villain, clearly, are evil.
Sorry for rambling but hope it helps and didn't basically repeat anything anyone else just said. :3
FatinSarsar's avatar

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A villain that is too clever, too perfect, or too sinister can often become likable to the reader. Often a reader hates a villain, or any character for that matter, when the character has some irritating flaw, and yet not a flaw that we can sympathize or relate to. Like an obsession with the taste of blood specifically after a toenail has been cut off or something. I dunno lol.
On a personal note, I really hate characters (and often these are not necessarily villains) who mistreat their family, ie wife, husband, children, etc, and then act different so as to be loved and admired by people outside the family circle. All types of hypocritical and self absored characters have a tendency to be agitating.
I think how strongly a reader hates the villian depends on how strongly the reader identifies and sympathizes with the protaganist. So that the terrible things done to the protagonist are done to the reader by proxy.
I think you could use the reverse psychology thing when it comes to a villian

Mostly ppl tend to hate the villian who destroys their hero's lime-light....

so make the villian seem like the good guy and then reveil at the climax of the story that he was just playing the good guy role to hatch his evil plan and to reviel his TRUE self!!!
Arrogance. It always gets me.
How to make a villain universally hated?
Make it obvious that they are wrong.
And then it make it obvious that, in the text, they are right.

I'm sure that I have to explain that more... so here goes.

It's fairly common now for people to look back on the old days of the southern white bigots and the whole lynching business and say 'omg, those people were evil.' Whether you want to debate about the various moral questions inherent in a discussion of different ethical and societal rules is beside the point, we, as a society, view those actions as morally reprehensible. Now, consider it this way, did those people consider it morally reprehensible? No. That's what makes them well-motivated, they believe they are doing the right thing, even good. This should be the staple of all good villains (IE: they aren't disney villains, they WANT something, BELIEVE something, and will DO something to acquire/gain it, all the while thinking they are RIGHT and GOOD and never being card carrying villains.) But this isn't the end to it. If this was, there'd be nothing terrible horrible about this series of events. You see, back in the day, not only did the people doing the lynching think they were right, SO DID AN OVERWHELMING PORTION OF EVERYONE ELSE. So, in their time, they were not villains, they were even likely called heroes be a lot of people. In ours, though? Villains. Compounded by the fact that their people didn't think of them that way.

Take this to a story and you've got a truly hatable (and as close to universal as I can even imagine) villain. Someone who does things that we believe are terrible, and not only thinks they are right, not only gets away with it, but is rewarded for it! Someone who is a villain by trying to be a hero.

In short: worst villain ever is the society backing any 'evil thing.' Which is every society, in some way, shape, or form. So yeah.

Past this, though, you aren't going to find anything even remotely 'universal' in hating villains. in my personal taste/experience/whathaveyou. I vastly enjoy a strategic, genius, batman/xanatos gambit chessmaster villain who sets up a giant string of events to get what s/he wants. If they want to blow up the world, or take over the world, or whatever, and do so by less than desirable means, I find them amazing. Someone who is willing and able to manipulate and destroy the hell out of anyone/thing standing between them and their goal amuses me greatly. (It is probably a form of envy, I think). On the flip side, I am a very parental person. Harming a child (not necessarily killing, as that generally either alerts me to 'this sucks' because of shock value or 'they really pushed it to the edge, AWESOME' response. Neither of which are bad things) is a very quick way of getting on my 'evil b*****d I wish you a fate worse than death' list. Especially if the audience is supposed to have gotten even slightly attached to the child (and by audience, I mean me.)

To give examples: Iago (shakespare, not alladin, thank you)? Awesome.
Anakin Skywalker: Pretty much unforgivable. I don't care what the movies try and make you feel about when it comes to his redemption at his sons hands and s**t: HE SLAUGHTERED DOZENS OF KIDS FOR NO ******** REASON AT ALL. There's no redemption for him in my book.
Mysterin's avatar

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Make them do things that inflict harm on your character mentally and physically. Like, I don't know, instigate a war, possess a long lost character, dominate the MCs hometown, rape your MC's love interest, all in one book.
iXee's avatar

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                  I believe the perfect villain is someone the reader can relate to - a character that has all the flaws the reader hates in themselves, and wants the 'hero' to destroy. This makes them realistic, and gives the reader some kind of emotional attachment that makes it almost painful when the Villain loses, but leaves the reader with a better understanding of themselves and a more positive attitude.

                  The worst kind of villain you can write is a 'Voldemort' - Rowling pulls it off amazingly, but very few people can. All-evil is usually never the way to go. Give your Villain a really good reason to be bad, and avoid revenge as a motive.
Nyctores's avatar

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Echoing what others have said before, but this is a very subjective question. That and well, I believe you have to be extra careful when writing a villain. On one hand you have him to be evil and for your readers to truly dislike him/her for that. However you also have to make them relatable on some level in order to keep up that illusion you're drawing your readers into. I say that villains that are pure evil are never the way to go. As a reader it's something that usually makes me roll my eyes and want to put the book down -- obviously something you never want your readers to do.

Edit: iXee worded what I was trying to say beautifully XD
In my opinion, it would have to be a character that betrays you. At the beginning of the story they seem like the greatest person, friendly, smart, clever, but, then, they turn on you and make you see that evverything they did was a lie. It may be a little cliche, but it's the making for great villains. Also, I find cleverness and cruelty a big thing hated villains needed, their logic is irreversible, it's perfect, making you hate them even more because you want to be able to find fault in the logic.
The Fanfiction Nymph's avatar

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Wow thank you all so much! I feel like I know just what to do now! heart
[Screename.Desired]'s avatar

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A villain that cannot be destroyed by brute strength, but by an idea or the hero's wits.
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Deceit.. or whoreinglyness?
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I think how strongly a reader hates the villian depends on how strongly the reader identifies and sympathizes with the protaganist. So that the terrible things done to the protagonist are done to the reader by proxy.

This. I was thinking the exact same thing.

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