Saturday, June 27, 2020

Charming and Likable Villains in my Novels by Connie Vines

Charming and Likable Villains in my novels/short stories.

Thank you Dr. Bob for this month's topic.

I must confess, most of my villains are villains in the true sense of the word and beyond redemption.  However, in my YA novels, my villains are 'tarnished'.  

Due to the subject matter for YA readers the bad-guy/gal in the story are 'tarnished'. Usually at one-point-in-time, they were good people.  Often with a life-time of good-works but for some reason he/she lost their way/purpose; or events of the past turned them into someone who is acting out of character/mentally ill.

Such is the case with Sister Enid, in Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water.
Sister Enid, at the start of her career made great improvement is the boarding schools for Native American children.  However, over the years she lost her compassion and her mind (all of which lies in her past--on explained due to spoilers).  

In my romance, Gothic, and other genre novels and stories, my villains are either purely evil (as in a paranormal or suspense), or tarnished.

Who do I consider a 'tarnished' or 'charming' villain?

In television series:

Lex Luthor of Smallville fame.

He had to be friends with Clark Kent. While evolving as a 'master criminal' to bring down Superman.

Hook of Once Upon A Time

Gone is the long-hair and bright pirate clothing we expect form this character.
Instead, he is dressed in mostly black attire with shorter hair, making him extremely clever and with behind the scene plans and schemes we don't usually is in Captain Hook. Just when you think he's turned into 'a good guy' he jumps right back to being the villain again.

Jim Moriarty of Sherlock

He's a genius criminal consultant, superior to Sherlock in every way.  In the end you think Sherlock wins but you're not close into the big picture. Moriarty still got what he wanted!

In novels:

Classic Literature

I have found that to character deemed the 'villain/evil person' in classic literature need to be 'given a second chance'.

Frankenstein's Monster (for heaven sake, look at this guy's backstory).

Long John Silver of Treasure Island fame.

Bertha Rochester of Jane Eyre fame.

Count Dracula of Bram Stoker's novel and of the 1992, Francis Ford Coppola movie fame.  There was also an excellent film were Dracula starts out as a hero.  In an effort to save him people and family, he knowingly because a vampire and is a hero in the end. Dracula Undead, 2014.  The perfect example of a heroic villain.

Do I believe that a villain can be portrayed as charming and likable?  Yes.

Will I have a charming and likable villain in one of my future novels?

Perhaps.  I do have a soft spot for 'vampire love-stories'.

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  1. I think villains who have a haunted past or who do some act of bravery are more real than the do bad only type. Many have a talent for manipulating other characters, which is in a way a warning to readers. Be wary! Good post.

  2. Enjoyed your post. Great examples of charming villains. I think we can blame the mothers for bringing up a tarnished child!!! Lol

  3. Lost of super examples of villains with charm. I think when I villain has a way about them that you can't just dismiss, it makes the story better.

  4. Thank you Connie. I like the concept of "tarnished."
    I also agree that someone purely evil is less interesting than a complex, multifaceted personality who as strayed onto a bad path.
    I do remember reading your book about the Native American children, though I'd forgotten Sister Enid's name. That's a very powerful story, and with a wonderful ending.

  5. You left off my blog:

    You're right about something having made the villains be that way. Sometimes it's life experiences. Sometimes it's brain chemistry. But often, if you get to know more about the villain, you can understand how they view themselves as blameless--even if you don't agree with them.


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