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?
-someone is in need in an emergency in a life and death situation they kick the person in need away and yell at them then begin to walk off.
-they do a evil action something you would never think of doing example set a baby on fire,and laugh while the baby is screaming in agony.
-if they do not work alone they treat there guards or workers with extreme disrespect.
I agree with the earlier post about Stephen King and after reading a part of novel of his that I have and one that I have read, here's what I think.
Basically the villian that does things like killing innocent animals, children, even adults and gets away with it.
Or the one that goes crazy psychopathic and threatens and commits slight bodily harm to another character while uttering totally crazy sentences.
Another would be a villian like a dictator. Where they have a huge amount of support (especially that of, let's say, the police force) and they do evil things and the characters are helpless to do anything for their situtation. I don't know if you ever read Under The Dome, but that would be my example.
Actual 'hate' is difficult to acheive, because readers will always be aware in the back of their minds that your villain is a fictional creation. It sounds like you're on the right track, though. Racism and a propensity for rape are not generally considered admirable qualities.
If you simply want to portray him as evil, Stephen King, in his book, On Writing recommends having your villain kill a child or an animal. According to him, killing an essentially defenseless being that has done no harm to you is pretty much the epitome of evil acts.
Ask yourself what fictional character you hate the most and why you hate him or her so much. It's not just about having them act like dicks, because that's not enough. Think of Travis Bickle. Despite him acting like a complete b*****d the entire film he isn't hated because the people he murders are total assholes.
If you want a villain to be hated, you have to have them destroy something beautiful.
You know, from what everybody's been saying it seems that the most common type of hated villain is one who is ultra horrible, but that's just the purpose he's supposed to fulfill, he is a villain after all.
I think the reason that some villains are so much better than others are because they're relate-able, and the reader sees themselves in the villains flawed morality. and what sort of a person doesn't hate them self to some extent? I would try to find the one flaw which is despicable and awful but at the same time exists in every person, and i would amplify it.
If you're trying to create a perfect villain, you will be writing forever.
A good villain, in my eyes, is one that represents the villains in today's world. They think that they're heroes. They think that they're saviors. A villain that goes "Ohhhh! Look at me! I am so evil!" is a really crappy villain. A villain that says "What I am doing is just and right. I will crush those that get in my way, for they are the true villains," is how villains are really created.
Well, here's what comes to my mind: make something or someone that the reader gets really attached to. Something/someone that they think if awe-inspiring and lovable.
Then make the antagonist come along and smash it to all hell. That outta do it.
Bonus points if the person/object had great value to the main characters and/or it was vital that the antagonist destroy it for their cause. Makes for increased conflict and a potential turning point in the story.
Having an evil villain and a well-written evil villain are two different things... If you want him to be evil, then just have him be persistently in the way of the good guy. But if you have a well done villain, the readers understand the POV of the bad guy even if it is evil. Having a bad guy just be bad is... well, it's been done to death. You need to give him a real, true motive to drive him to do the things he does. One of the most amazingly well-written bad guys I've ever read is from the Liveship Trader Series by Robin Hobb-- she goes into the psychology of the villain and into depth on why he is the way he is. He does good things, but for bad reasons and with bad intentions. It's really kind of amazing how human she made the villain, and even though you hate his guts, you admit that he is an amazingly well-made character.
So many authors think, "Well, if I make him kill a bunch of people for no reason, that'll make him evil!" Well, yes, it will, but it's been done.
For me, it's when they have loyalty to only themselves. No other person or thing in the world is as important as they are, and what they want to accomplish is the only thing that matters. They would destroy their own best friend immediately and without so much as the blink of an eye if they thought it would get them somewhere.
I think it comes from well...having them do, not bad things, but despicable things.
I.e. I think someone mentioned it somewhere around here. They only care about themselves. Let's say this one villain has a very loyal henchman. Well, that henchman sacrifices themselves for the villain's cause and the villain isn't even grateful. What? A few people come to mind. Knives from Trigun. Light from Death Note. Imotept from The Mummy 1 & 2. Voldemort from Harry Potter (the particular instance where he ditches the guy who shared his body with him and the time he killed Snape believing him to be a loyal and useful henchman despite the fact that he was a double agent). Captain Barbosa from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. They were all jerkfaces because even the people who should have meant most to them they ignored.
Light from Death Note is actually an excellent example because in one of the episodes after he kills an agent, his fiance, an ex-agent, does her own investigation. He freaks out because she has information that would totally ruin his plans (actually he gets himself caught like four times but since the writer said he won over L, those moments were ignored) and he disposes of her in such a despicable way...ugh... I can't even think about it without feeling sick to my stomach. mad That guy really was a villain, not because he killed criminals (I would honestly do that as well), but because of how much of a low-hitter he was. Kicking someone while they're down...that's low and dirty. I hate that!
Ooh! That helps. A villain is despicable when they have no sense of honor or good at all.
I think you're looking for a villain that is detestable, yes?
The overall thing to do is: have them do douchy things.
But there's a certain way of doing that.
First off, you can't have them just be douchy things, you have to write instances into the plot where the very specific douchy things are done. Like, he's a rapist, yes? List the victims. Not in the story, but to yourself. If the only answer is "a bunch of chicks," he's not actually doing the douchy things, only being the douchy things. What's more make it happen to central characters. People we care about.
Second, let us see the emotional fallout. If the villain kills someone, let us watch their loved ones grieve. If someone gets raped, let us see how it changes their lives. Note how witnessing these actions takes a toll on the hero, and let us see that. The most detestable thing about such actions is the way that they never, never go away, so show that to the audience.
Third, don't make the villain an idiot. If they make obvious mistakes or are overly theatrical, the audience's reaction will be incredulity, or even pity, not hate. Make sure they don't play fair: have them bring out and play on the worst of the people around them, (denial is a powerful motivator) have them lie, have them only keep the bargains that benefit them. Let the hero make mistakes, and have the villain make them regret it.
Lastly, plan a couple of coup de gras. One or two incidents, probably witnessed directly by the hero, that combine all of these characteristics.
You're never going to stop people from liking your bad guy no matter how big a d**k you make him. Just figure out what way you'd like people to like him. Do you want people to like him because he's a well written utter dirtbag? Then go for that.
Some people can feel hatred through other characters' hatred, but all in all, you probably don't want the reader to hate your character. To me at least, hating a character means being irritated when they're in the story.