New website is under construction.

Jun 3, 2009

In Need of Villains

I have an idea for an Urban Fantasy, but I need an idea for the Big Baddies. I'm tired of demons, werewolves, and vampires. A goverment conspiracy run by a corrupt US senator who wants to sell arms to terrorists? Uh, no. That is so done.

What kind of villains would be original, badass, re-newable (can't be just one dude, I need my heroes to plow through a lot of 'em), something interesting enough you'd like to read it?

Both sf (aliens, robots) and fantasy (demons, necromancers) type ideas welcome. What kind of villain hasn't been done that would be supercool?

14 comments:

Liana Brooks said...

How about a soccer mom who consorts with demons and feeds them the souls of her kid's friends in exchange for wealth and power?

Not only could the heroes fight demons, they could fight a brigade of fake-prada wearing uptight playground moms. :o)

Malanie said...

Um, lets see...
How about Lobbyist that use their money to get laws passed that support their religious views?? Oh, oh and they're really demons in human form. What seems good is really evil type a thing! I would love to see them wiped out!

Charlie said...

What scary to me is not being able to see your opponent. I don’t mean invisible demons but devils or aliens that hide in plain sight. Perhaps people that are evil by genetics and you can’t easily distinguish them from the good people. I can see references to a certain policing action laced throughout.

…or anyone with too much power. :)

Charlie said...

LOLing @ Malanie's idea.

Ban said...

was thinking myself of some sort of evil group who targets people with a 'product' which turns them into MODERN ZOMBIES or henchmen that appear normal but will do as their new 'masters' bid - then the good guys will have a time finding out what the 'product' is as well as fight off all the new minions ...

ps: Liana's idea RULES !!!

Scott said...

I love the soccer mom idea.

I also like Charlie's idea as well. Sometimes, it's the most least likely of villians that are the scariest of all.

What about a take on the Stepford Wives . . . except using the soccer mom persona. They bake cookies for everybody, but the secret ingredient is really a mind control device. Pretty soon . . .

Okay, obviously it is after 5 PM because my brain cells just aren't synapsing properly. Combine Liana and Charlie's ideas, add your own special twist, and go for it!

S

scott g.f. bailey said...

I like the soccer mom bit, too. But if you don't want people so much (because maybe you don't want overt social statement), I also like Charlie's idea about evil you can't see. Though I was thinking about actual shadows being things that move, maybe. Like shadows could be possessed and take form and weight. Or have I stolen that idea from elsewhere? I steal all my ideas; just look at my last book.

Shelli said...

look in the element encylcopedia of creatures. It has tons. maybe somethign will grab you.

writtenwyrdd said...

My suggestion: Define what you need the villian to do that obstructs the main character, then build a villian around that.

Also, decide if you want a baddie whom your audience almost-but-not-quite falls for, whom the women want to "save" (or sleep with) and whom the guys wish they could be. That sort of bad guy can steal the show, but they are so much fun to read!

In terms of what sort of bad guy, I like female protagonists against evil male villians, then you can work the sexual attraction angle.

But you could twist that (especially if you want to torture your protagonist) and have him/her up against a same-sex villian whom they either find attractive or who finds them attractive.

And you can pluck a few this-is-so-wrong heart strings with a villian who turns out to (maybe) be a close relative. (Read God Stalk for an excellent version of this).

I could go on about villians, but regardless of what sort of critter they are, your biggest asset is to make them compelling. they need to be rounded, somehow enviable, somehow attractive. They needn't be gorgeous or rich or powerful (although that certainly helps) but compelling nevertheless.

Another ploy? You could have your villian be mysterious, and in the end his true self is far less compelling than the human guise. But maybe that's a feint, and there's yet another guise below the seemingly mild second identity. And that one's a doozy like chthulu or something.

As far as what hasn't been done a lot? I'd say dinosaurs (a were-tyrannosaur?) or some other religious creature besides angels, demons, zombies, vampires, etc. Research obscure mythology. Read Hindu texts like the Mahabarata for ideas. I've always thought it would be interesting to have a bigfoot (or were-ape) in a story.

Okay, done with the ideas rant. Maybe you can use something here.

Dal Jeanis said...

Vegetarian ninjas...

Little people who are actually little...

a subtle kind of magic, with no light shows, so that whatever is happening isn't obvious...

a Hollywood conspiracy attempting to bend minds away from stable values, so that people will fall for anything new...

David Russell Mosley said...

You said unused, and that is not my suggestion, though in an urban fantasy, not so much. Try going back a little farther. Use folklore and myth. Perhaps folkloric goblins in line with George McDonald would make excellent villains. Or, perhaps, a nice big set of trolls who aren't stupid but cunning (as well as large).

When it comes to fantasy, I almost always go back to "original" sources. Mythology and folklore hold a wealth of ways of using the creatures they defined that much of modern mythology has ignored. Just give it a thought.

Malanie said...

Tara, have you considered looking into Native American folklore? I know the Osage Indians in NE Oklahoma have these evil little people that force their victims to cause harm to themselves. The only way to get rid of them is by burning cedar in the home.

laughingwolf said...

check out celtic myth critters, and base your baddies on something similar...

Dave said...

Chairs. What if chairs were the villains, or, at least, a tool the villains used.

Well, you asked for something that has not been overdone, and you wanted lots of them. Think of the potential ... : )