Reply To: Villains

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Villains Reply To: Villains


@arindown ooh thanks for the tag!

Well, tbh my villains are so far really underdeveloped, but I do have quite a few concepts I want to develop:

1. One of my characters, Basil, is a prototype super-soldier who was raised in a lab.  So, obviously we have a very cold and inhumane environment here, but the lab staff always really fascinated me.  On the one hand, you know they’re caught up in something very wrong, but you almost get the impression that a lot of them kind of dug too deep, and are now trapped.  A lot of Basil’s staff are kind to him, and try to make him as comfortable as possible.  While it’s an inherently inhumane environment, no one is deliberately cruel to him, and you kind of have to wonder what drove these staff to live and work in such an environment in the first place.

One doctor, Vitus Corvo, is a war criminal from the previous conflict who was captured at the end and forced to work on this program (inspired by the Nazi scientists we and the Soviet Union captured at the end of WWII).  So, he’s objectively a horrible person who was involved in very horrible things, but in some ways he’s a sympathetic antagonist because he had no choice in this particular matter.  He’s had a lot of influence on Basil’s program, and is very fond of him (albeit in a twisted sense – Basil is his experiment).  As Basil grows up, Dr. Corvo starts losing control to another, less gentle department, and is powerless to stop them from treating Basil harshly.  I think he feels a lot of guilt over this, and I think this really helped him to start seeing Basil as more of a person than a weapon.  Basil ends up being dumped on the streets after failing a major inspection, and I believe that was Dr. Corvo’s last, desperate attempt to save him.

2. My protagonists Kit and Val are both from very powerful, wealthy families, and so in many ways the rigid social structure is an antagonist in their arcs.  Kit and Val were both orphaned as babies in a string of assassinations and adopted into other powerful families, and that’s had a huge ripple effect on this social circle (Kit’s brother Milo was also orphaned, and all of his siblings were split up between different families – he has a whole biological family he’s never me, and that’s been very painful for him.)  So, obviously, I want to develop the assassinations more, especially because it’s had a semi recent impact on the plot – eventually, Kit’s adopted parents were both killed as well, and his eldest brother Eli (only barely an adult) had to fight tooth and nail to prevent his family from being split up as well.  He was manipulated, threatened, and intimidated by much older adults, and although he won in the end, he had a nervous breakdown and never fully recovered.  I’m not really sure how to develop it…but I feel like it might impact the story even more in the end.

Not all of the adoptions were out of good will – there was definitely an underlying desire to “assimilate” kids from certain families into ones’ own, and that’s precisely where Val’s conflict with her parents comes from.  At least one (maybe both) of Val’s parents desperately wanted to adopt Kit, and adopted Val as a second choice.  They never stopped wanting Kit though, so in many ways Val felt like she was losing her parent’s affection to an outsider (and in many ways, she was – she was emotionally neglected growing up.)  For a long time, they’d even pressured her to consider him as a future spouse, in hopes of bringing him into the family through marriage.  All of this led to Val building up a lot of resentment towards both Kit and her parents, which she’ll have to come to terms with as she works more closely with Kit.

Kit has a couple of antagonists/villains.  One, Alastor, maliciously shared an extremely personal secret that ended up getting Kit ostracized from this shared circle.  Alastor seems like an intimidating villain at first, but in reality he’s a deeply insecure and emotionally immature bully who wants to be seen as far more intimidating than he really is.  Kit eventually sees him for what he truly is and lets go of this early on, denying Alastor the opportunity to further impact his life.

Sebastian Thorne though…

Oh boy XD

Sebastian is probably my FAVORITE antagonist in Spire, because he’s both scary and so genuinely fun (but also very depressing.)  Out of all of the characters, I think Sebastian is the most villainous, but even I have a hard time believing it sometimes because he’s just so warm and friendly.  Sebastian is Kit’s “closest enemy,” and although the two have established that they’ll always be at odds, they genuinely do enjoy each other’s company (their rivalry isn’t personal at all).  The two are very similar in many ways – quick witted, extroverted, stylish, and spectacularly flamboyant, and Sebastian was actually one of the few people who wasn’t put off by Kit’s secret.  As the story progresses, the two find themselves at odds yet again…although this time, the stakes are getting higher and higher.  The similarities between them make them formidable and yet highly predictable opponents, which only adds more tension as the social game starts turning into a rather deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

Although Sebastian is friendly, extroverted, and sociable, he lacks a moral compass and is both crafty and treacherous.  However, he does have a strict code of honor – he’ll never hurt women, children, or disabled people (even going so far as to warning Val – who is both female and autistic – to stay out of his interactions with Kit.)  By contrast, Kit has a very strong moral compass, but no code of honor XD  Sebastian does end up drugging and interrogating Kit, putting him through some mild torture in the process (and even tries lying about it to Val to make it seem like Kit simply drank too much and got black-out drunk, although Val is far too perceptive to believe him.)

The thing is, Sebastian doesn’t actually see anything wrong about what he did – he and Kit have already established their dynamic as enemies, so what else did he expect?  It’s not like he hates Kit or anything, he’s just using him to achieve his own goals (just as Kit was trying to use Sebastian to achieve his goals.)  I think that’s what makes Sebastian so interesting to me.  He’s got such a twisted worldview, and I think it comes from a place of deep despair – he’s got no morals, no love, no hope, and yet he continues to dig himself deeper and deeper into this hole.  He’s living a very hedonistic lifestyle, and I think he’s really being motivated by some combination of greed and extreme, suffocating boredom – I think he’s some sort of double agent, who’ll side with whoever can pay him the most money.  So, when it comes to his motivations, background, and worldview, he’s a direct foil for Kit!

But, enough about my villains.  Tell me about yours!

*laughs as one fey*

Pin It on Pinterest