There is an odd thing that happens when we get around certain types of people. The hair on the back of our neck stands up, our gut tenses or any a number of other things happens. One of my supervisors talks about when he gets around bi polar people his heart speeds up. One of my teacher explains that when she gets around anti-social personalities it makes her feel yucky. It doesn’t always have to be the extremes but when a person starts to act like someone we have had a bad experience with we initially dislike them or when someone acts and looks like someone we have had good experiences with we like them.
So what makes a good villain? It’s the character that creeps us out or makes us feel yucky inside. It’s the character that makes us feel like we have been to a used car dealer and we know we are getting ripped off. These feelings come because of past experiences that we have had with certain types of people and we recognize it because of simple body movements or their words are off just a tiny bit. We feel like something is off with them but can’t quite tell what it is.
The challenge is getting the reader to feel this way even though they can’t see the person. We need to produce characters that are so real that the reader can see, touch, smell, and feel them. We need to make something just a little bit off about the character and be consistent in using it. It needs to be the subconscious that makes the reader uneasy so that it hits her/him at the core.
Tell me about certain times you have been creeped out by a person but don’t know why until later.