“I love writing scenes where my villains are prominent. As someone who’d most definitely be a Slytherin if she weren’t already a Ravenclaw, I have a soft spot in my heart for well-crafted and believable bad guys. Here are some elements I love in a great villain.
When the creator knows the difference between villain and antagonist.
An antagonist is against the protagonist, but this doesn’t necessarily make your antagonist the villain. In some cases, yes: Captain Hook is Peter Pan’s antagonist, and he is also the villain of the story. But consider (one of my fave series) Veronica Rossi’s UNDER THE NEVER SKY trilogy. Without giving too much away, there’s a clear villain in the story, but there’s also an antagonist for Aria: Brooke. Brooke, who is not a villain, is not necessarily against Aria’s goals, but she has reasons for being against Aria in the Tides, even if they are on the same side. Know who your villain is, and know who your antagonist is, and through that, you can play with the character dynamics on a whole new level.”
Another post you should absolutely check out is this fabulous interview with Rosamund Hodge, author of Cruel Beauty. The interview was conducted by our very own wonderful Rhiannon Thomas, author of A Wicked Thing.
“1. In Cruel Beauty, you combine Beauty and the Beast with Greek and Roman mythology in a really original way. What inspired you to put the two together? When you first envisioned the novel, did you start with the fairy tale, or with the mythology, or neither?
When I was a child, I was obsessed with the myth of Cupid and Psyche. Briefly: an oracle tells a king he must chain his daughter on a mountaintop as sacrifice to a “monster.” But the daughter, Psyche, isn’t devoured by a beast as she expects; instead, the wind carries her to a strange palace with invisible servants who tell her that she is a bride. And every night her husband comes to visit her—but he forbids her to see his face. When her jealous sisters persuade her light a candle anyway, she discovers that he’s Cupid, the god of love. But because she broke his command, he becomes a prisoner of his mother Venus, and Psyche must complete a series of impossible tasks—ultimately going to the Underworld—in order to free him.”