Hello folks! It’s August? Yeah, I’m trying to teach down several months that I seemed to have lost so if anyone finds them let me know, I could really use that extra time about now…lol…It’s been crazy busy!
But, enough about that you came here to read a blog post not for me to ramble about my hectic life…haha…Today, I bring you a post on villains that is sort of extra from the series we did on Heroes, Sidekicks, and Villains. So, these are the 5 things we want to avoid, the cliche or just overdone things that get on my nerves. (but maybe not yours *shrugs*)
So, here we go!
1. When the villains are smart and minions are dumb, or the minions are smart and the villain is dumb.
So cliché, and it’s done so much! Especially in movies…it’s like, what? Can there only be one smart bad guy at a time? No! So, a good example of this is Scar from The Lion King, he’s smart, and the hyenas are extremely stupid. Why? I’m not sure…why didn’t Scar just try to recruit some uncontented lions? Seriously, he had to be able to get better help…the dude was extremely smart. But no, he’s stuck with hyenas.
There are so many examples of this…and I’m having a hard time picking any, but a lot of movies have this, especially a lot of kids’ adventure movies, like Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, Spy Kids, Lego Friends Girls on a Mission….and more.
Now sometimes this is done for comical relief, but other times it’s just like seriously? Let me think of some that are done for comical relief here….Um, Despicable Me (Done well in these movies, just pretty funny!) And I’m drawing a blank…Oh, The Penguins of Madagascar, Dave is just…I love Dave!!! Or the fangs from Wingfeather Saga, some of these guys aren’t the sharpest, but they do great for comical relief at really tense times.
If you want to pull this off a lot of time needs to be dedicated to making sure you aren’t just creating cheesy villains or villain minions that have no brains whatsoever.
2. Where the female villain can only be beaten by a female hero
This stems from our feminist society. Most of the time it’s like these guys can’t beat her for years and then this girl comes along and defeats the evil villain lady. No! I’m not against female villains or female heroes, but when not handled properly they tend to be…annoying.
I don’t think it should matter whether the villain is female or male, the hero shouldn’t have to be the same gender to defeat them. But this rule only applies when the villain or hero is female. The male hero can be defeated by the female villain, and the female hero can defeat the male villain, but not vice versa. This is just not right.
I honestly, don’t care for this politically correct thinking and since I self-publish, it doesn’t matter to me. It should be based on the skills that the hero and villain have not on the genders that they are. So, if you have a male hero and want to have a female villain that he defeats, go for it! Honestly, this side of the political jargon gets on my nerves.
3. Where a villain is defeated way too easily
Like in The Last Jedi…bummer. That ending was too soon!!! Like, what? I hate when this happens, it’s like so cheesy…Hero’s been training for a short amount of time, villains been around forever, one confrontation later the villain is dead and I’m mad because that’s not how life works!
Really, the movie or book takes forever to get to this point, and then the villain is out of commission before we even get to see how evil they really were. Badly done, so make sure you don’t kill your villain A.) too soon and B.) too easily.
4. The part where the villain gushes his whole plan to the hero
This is so cliché! Happens in most superhero movies and even like, medieval movies…basically anytime the villain thinks he has the hero. Then the hero ends up escaping and stopping the villain’s plan because the villain told the hero everything! This makes it way too easy for the hero and has been done so many times!
Honestly, I’m ready for a villain just to stab the hero and go enforce his evil plan! You have him, just kill him! Don’t spill the beans…(or maybe not kill him, but wound him and don’t spill the beans). Just create higher stakes for the hero and let the villain keep his thoughts to himself…who in their right mind spills their evil schemes to the enemy? I know I never would…
5. When the villain has a sad backstory
How does this justify him? Most of the time the heroes have sad backstories too, but they’re not evil. I get that everything is a choice, but I hate the grey area that most villains are standing on these days. This line of he’s bad but he has a reason to be bad! No! What does that teach readers? Oh, I had a lot of pain in my past therefore me being cruel to someone else is justified? No!
I hate these excuses we make for villains. I get that sometimes you need a backstory. Honestly, though give him a better motive. Maybe he lost everything as a child, and no one paid any attention to him and therefore he decided to make everyone lose everything as well! We feel for the villain, but we understand that his choice is wrong…
Make sure if you create a sad backstory for your villain that there is no grey area. Make sure his choices are not justified…because they aren’t! Wrong is wrong no matter what made you choose to do it, it will never be justified…but also, don’t be afraid to make a villain evil simply because he is evil. Power hungry is a good one for this, often used in old books, but a timeless motive that we can all understand. Jealousy is another good one as well.
Okay, here are my thoughts on what we shouldn’t do with villains! Things that make our villains unrelatable or flat or even just downright boring. So many of them are overdone, it’s hard to come up with new ways to do villains, should I do a post on that? Hmm…
I hope you enjoyed this post and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
So, what are some things you hate in villains? Do you agree with me? Should villains gush their plans to the hero? Does that get on your nerves? Let me know in the comments!