What effect would it have to redicule a villain, say making a really mean, evil dark demon lord (I know. I'm exagerating). The problem with this demon lord would be his stammering. Who would be terrified of a stammering demon? (I just can't get the picture of that pig from "looney tunes" out of my head). Would this concept be to silly to actually use in a serious story?
Now that I think about it, I think so, but I will post this anyway, never know what ideas you guys have.
BTW: Nothing you could ever say would make me use this concept.
January 14th, 2003, 06:30 PM
Well, I have a couple answers for this.
#1) Every villain has to have a fatal flaw that the hero can use against it at the time of need. It could be a single weak spot (ala shooter villains), or it could be constantly underestimating the strength of the hero, or conversely constantly overestimating his own strength (also seen in video game villains). It could be possible that this villain's ridiculousness could be its fatal flaw, though that would be a little bit obvious.
#2) Every villain has a source of power be it inborn ability, stolen energy, a huge nuclear reactor, a real badass lieutenant and hordes of monsters, or the knowledge that he has a speech impediment and therefore must kill all who know of it. It's a little silly true, but I've seen worse.
Also remember, that not every villain need be frightening in all aspects and not all villains are the same. Some work behind the scenes as manipulators and whatnot. Some stand in the forefront and direct things personally. Each has different strengths and is frightening for different reasons.
January 14th, 2003, 06:43 PM
I agree that not all villains need be frightening. If I were to write about this ridiculous villain, people would not think him a great threat, as obviously a villain should be. This would actually give the villain an advantage, his enemies would not believe him to be a threat.
January 14th, 2003, 10:00 PM
What I could do with a story whee the villain wasn't really a villain at all, at least in the context we see them. In fantasy novels for instance, the big villain is generally some almighty demon, or lord, or god in some giantt tower that is all but unbeatable. I find this cliche somewhat puzzling as such an unbeatble figure would hardly need vast armies to do his bidding. Why not make a villain, who is far from evil, or psychotic, a villain who the hero could be friends with were the conflict not going. I have seen this countless times in fiction and sci-fi but very little in fantasy. What if rather then wanting to enslave the world for no apparent reason than to just do it he wants to bring order. This is a nice, respectable goal, but perhaps the villain chooses, fast, violent methods that are more speedy then dialogue. That is a villain that could have endless possibilities.
January 15th, 2003, 03:35 AM
but would that still make him a villian?
January 15th, 2003, 06:56 AM
I tend to have villains that are not the norm in my work.
Also , I like the heros to be a muddy shade of grey rather than shining white...
I perfer a price to be paid for each action either for good or evil
Then I don't write standard fantasy.
I don't have elves or any of the traditional type of character/animals in my work Save for once, a sort of dragon.....
The human condition is far more interesting.......
January 15th, 2003, 07:12 AM
If it's a dark lord style villian, probably wouldn't be convincing. If it's an average person/leader style villian, then go for it.
January 15th, 2003, 07:33 AM
I think having a humorous aspect to a villan can catch your readers off guard.
Look at Gollum for example he's kind of like "comic-relief" in the story, but you know deep down he has a dark, selfish and evil streak.
There also was a character called the "Mule" in the Foundation series by Asimov. A legendary powerful bad guy with all kinds of mental (i.e. telepathic etc) powers who turned out to be completely different to the character I was picturing in my head.
In short if you establish someone is the fearsome enemy immediately, then any strange "defects" they may have will destroy the awe of the character.
If you use it in reverse and start off with a character who seems a bumbler or fool and then turns out to be a bad-ass, it could work quite well.
January 15th, 2003, 09:44 AM
I am actually going to make one of my "villains" friends with the main character. (I think)
He's the worlds best assassin, and has a sick infatuation with blood, but he's a really nice guy if you just get to know him ;)
January 15th, 2003, 12:32 PM
I think everything depends on how you portray this stammering villian.
For example, he could come across as very menacing. Say he does have this problem - so he hides it. He always speaks very little. He could use one word sentences, or have one of his henchmen speak for him. This forces him to come across as a very blunt, but meticuluos character.
On the other hand you could have him slip up at inopportune moments and present him as comic relief.