My last post was about the tortured hero, but today's post is about the other guy. The guy we love to hate. You know--the villain. Turns out, the villain has to be as rounded as the hero, but bad--bad to the bone. Even if the audience doesn't know why he's as rotten as he is, as the writer, it's important to have a reason for his bad behavior. A great resource that covers character traits for both good and bad characters is The Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein.
Let me clarify, I'm not talking about "bad boys." We love those guys, and being the amazing heroine's we are, with enough looovve, we can reform "bad boys." But, the villain, well, he's just plain nasty.
Yet, that doesn't mean the villain has to be bad looking. Sometimes, the villain is too sexy, and women can get drawn in before they realize the danger. Usually though, our heroine gets an inkling that something's not quite right and maybe it's the crazed look in his eye or the way he tries to control every little thing, she usually figures out he's a villain.
Here are a few of my most memorable, handsome villains: