Snape, Draco, and Bellatrix are my favorite characters in the series. Lots of people tell me that I shouldn’t like them because they are “assholes” or “problematic”, but I think that are very interesting to read about. I just hate how I have always had to defend myself for liking them.
How would you go about writing a character (villain) that is becoming more insane as the story progresses? Kinda starts off sympathetic, but it becomes increasingly harder to sympathize with said villain
Hi! I love the idea of this kind of character arc by the way.
Here’s what I’d gradually change:
• Motives- At first, the villain has an understandable motive, like avenging a dead relative by killing their murderer. It’s still wrong, but it’s reasonable. Then, the motive morphs into something that isn’t justifiable. Using the previous example, perhaps the villain is now set on killing the entire, innocent family of the murderer.
•Actions- In the beginning, the villain does illegal/immoral acts that aren’t considered to be terrible in the scheme of things (theft, fraud, etc). If the villain needs to start off more intense than that, then have them do obviously bad things that readers are pretty desensitized to because they’re common crimes for the villanous/bad characters (assassinations, arson, mild torture, etc), but not emotionally repulsive (ex: abusing a dog). Then, work the villain up to doing blatantly, disgusting crimes that readers can’t help but hate to the bottom of their heart.
• If you really want a villain that’s hard to sympathize with, then don’t hold back.
•At the same time, you still need an explanation behind the way that villain is acting/thinking. Sure, they can find it fun to cut off butterfly wings, but why? Do they like destroying beautiful things because it subconsciously elevates them? Do want the attention they receive when others see the wings? Does it make then feel powerful and in control?
• Research clinical insanity and related mental disorders along with their roots.
• Little clues or events will help contribute to the feeling that the character is getting worse. For example, they break their favorite object in a fit of rage. They are envious of other criminals/bad people and their actions. They show emotions inappropriate for the situation ( ex. there’s a dead deer on the road, and they feel a spark of joy). Their emotions are more touchy and more strong, regardless of what it is.
I like Snape. This does not mean I excuse bullying or that I’m a abuse apologist. That would make me a hypocrite. I identify with Snape because of what he went through in his home and school life. I’m a bitter and jaded adult because of what I’ve been through. So if people could stop calling everyone who likes this fictional character anyone of those things, that would be great because ya’ll don’t see us calling you wannabe genociders for liking characters like Loki and Darth Vader.