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So you want to be a bad guy, huh?

I was bored during my free period, so I wrote this rant/guide thing about "dark" emotions. I don't think it's very interesting... I'll be putting it in the "Cranberry no Miko and..." section on my site, so suggestions are *very* welcome.

Oh, and go sign my guestbook. ^.^ I just added one.

I'm just killing some time here, this ended up being more of a "guide to being a villain" than a rant/random writing. You need help with evil? Here ya go.

Feelings. The word itself doesn't hold much in the way of emotion, but start listing feelings and people will react. The biggest reaction comes when someone mentions "love," which I would consider the most complex of all emotions. I don't think there's anything I can say about love in a brief piece like this that would be significant, so I'll leave that emotion alone. In fact, I'm going to make this a column of "dark" emotions. I'll do a happy one later.

I'm starting with jealousy because it's common. I think everyone has felt jealous of someone at least once. Even if you're not a jealous person, there will be someone that has something that you want so much you can't help but be jealous of them. Maybe that person has money, or power, or they're going out with someone you want to date, and you would give anything to be them, have what they have. Overall, jealousy is one of the less "dark" emotions. The only time it becomes bad is if someone acts on their jealousy. You know, when someone takes on a "If I can't have it/them, no one can!" This is usually followed by homicidal rages or something of the like. Moving on....

Obsession can make for a very interesting character. It can motivate people to act completely outside of their normal range of actions, even bring them to insanity. There is a very thin line between other emotions and obsession, especially love. Sometimes it's hard to tell when you love someone too much, that you have to be near them all the time. Advanced obsession is easy to notice, because people act really strange. For example, if a normally polite person starts stalking the person they like, scaring them out of their mind, that's most likely obsession. Obsession works well with immortal characters, because they have an endless amount of time to dwell on their feelings, which would drive many people to insanity.

"Hate" is a word that is often overused. You can hate a type of food, or a time of day, any number of little things that you don't really hate so much as dislike. Real hatred takes some work, because it takes a lot of energy to hold onto such a negative feeling. Hate ties in well with obsession, such as someone who is obsessed with getting revenge on someone. I think hate is hard to write realistically. Too many characters are motivated by hate, but they have no particular reason to hate everyone on the planet so much that they want to destroy it. If you're going to use hate for a motivation, have solid reasoning behind it. Ironically, even the most heroic hero is guilty of hatred. They hate evil, so much that they go out and destroy villains. Of course, they are "good" so it's alright for them to hurt the "bad" guys. Just keep in mind that "good" and "bad" are completely relative.

Depression isn't a very inspiring character trait. People who are chronically depressed are not usually spurred to act on their depression unless it changes into anger or hate, or any more energetic emotion. It can motivate people to not do anything, which could be interesting. If a hero who was not quite perfect had his loved ones killed and fell into depression, he might choose not to help others in danger, which could cause a major crisis. Sadness is a good emotion for a villain to manipulate in a hero. Make him unhappy to the point where he just doesn't care about anything anymore, and you've won.

Anger and hatred usually go hand in hand. Sometimes people will be irrationally angry, sort of "rage against the entire world and everyone in it" feeling. This doesn't usually last long enough to be useful for characterization. It takes energy to be mad at everything, and a good night's sleep will usually dissipate the anger, or at least focus it on one thing. Anger is another emotion that's good to manipulate, if a bit more dangerous than depression. Piss someone off enough and they'll react, but you have to make sure that they are blindly angry. If they are just tipped over the edge into anger, they might not be stupid enough, and they can kill the villain. (Which is bad, if you're a villain.) The trick with anger is to not go halfway. Don't just kidnap his girlfriend. Kidnap her, kill his family, make his best friend your evil minion, and pile it all on him at once. The hero will lose his cool and his ability to reason.

Various other evil emotions
This are some other emotions that I can't write as much about. Desire to be cruel or sadistic is one. This one's difficult because not very many people have an ingrained desire to hurt others. They have to be pretty twisted psychologically, and that takes a lot of work, like a massive history of abuse and torment (mental and/or physical). To be realistic, make sure there's a reason, don't just have a bad guy that's mean for the sake of being mean. It's not very believable.

Insanity is another difficult one. It's a great motivation to do absolutely anything but again, it takes a lot of work to set up. You have to really screw someone up to make them totally insane. Even temporary insanity has to have some cause, and it can't be something stupid like the bad guy's goldfish died and he decided to destroy the planet. Would you destroy the planet over a goldfish? I hope not.

Being possessive of someone or something can lead to a wide range of emotions, but it's not quite the same as any of them. Say you are really protective of the person you love. If someone hurts or kills them, it can lead you to anger, hatred, obsession over revenge, etc. Being possessive or even protective of someone can be a great lead in for other emotions.

Lust and jealously usually go together, but not always. You can lust after objects; people; power; wealth; anything, but not be jealous of people who have the things you don't. Lust over a person leads into being possessive, even if you have no "claim" to the person. If a villain can make the hero lust after him/her, they can control them. Even if the hero knows how evil the villain is, they might give into temptation or believe that they can make the villain into a better person.

That's really all that I can think of for now. There's enough here to start out a pretty sick and twisted bad guy. ^.^ Have fun now!

Well? Anyone feel inspired to be/write about evil now? ^.^


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2003 09:26 pm (UTC)
Hmm, that's cool. Gives me ideas. Thank you.

It doesn't make me want to create evil, but it makes me want to compare my evil to your list to make sure I have valid reasons for his personality. Which evil am I speaking of? AVEDRATH! (Evil laughter)

Lesse. Insanity. Does he have a reason to be insane? *thinks* Well, he isn't actually insane until he dies. What reasons does he have then. Going mad with power. Maybe it's soo powerful that it snaps his mind. Possibly, but I want something more than that. Maybe because he isn't quite as tough as he likes to portray and the whole death experience shook him a bit up. Maybe as well. Or maybe having a lot of bullets loaded into you at one time was a bit more than he could stand. Probably not, that doubles with the first one. Well, he was a bit unstable to begin with. Okay, so, lets do this.

Avedrath grew up trained to kill from the Animus corporation. He grew up praised highly above all of the soldiers and most of the other assassins. Kind of turned spoiled. He liked his job, however. Took a sick pleasure in killing people painfully, hense the chain. didn't mind pain himself too much. Has a phobia of guns. Not quite sure why just yet. I have an idea though that i thought of about the time i came up with Gryth. After a while, he gets killed. Big shock. He's not all powerful. Kind of like the spoiled kid's parents loosing all their money. He's mad and shaken up about being killed. Then he can't handle the death experience along side that. Then he finds out that he was in an imposter body all his life, and his real one is more powerful. (Enter train of thought from Avedrath's own mind)soo much more powerful. He's more powerful than anything he has ever known of. And they kept him from having the power. They cheated him out of it. If they had left him in his real body he would have never had been killed! They tried to make him weak. Make him killable. Make him controllable. The cowards. They'll pay. Hiding behind their guns. Always behind their guns... (end thought process)

Then after he gets shot a few times, he realizes that the guns are no longer a barriar. The cowards have lost their wall to hide behind. Show them the power they kept him from having. All this time they failed at their goal. How pathetic they are! Never acheiving it. I'll soak my hide with their blood, and do what they couldn't in the name of their weakness!

Woooo! that was helpful. Now I have a bit of motivation and aim for what I need the climax of the game to be around! Thanks rachel!

Mar. 31st, 2003 09:33 pm (UTC)
Ave-chan's train of thought that leads to insanity would work well, especially if the people who he grew up around (even the ones that praised him) were kind of cold and distant... I've heard that the cruelest thing you can do to a child is *not* show it affection, so that would be a good source of trauma, which can lead to insanity. And it explains why he went beserk and killed that officeful of people, and his hatred of everyone in Animus, etc, etc. ^.^ Good idea!

And, as always, glad to be helpful~ ^.^
Mar. 31st, 2003 09:35 pm (UTC)
It also explains why he uses the army to do the job for the most part instead of doing it all himself.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )