'evil' Literary Problems


shinigamiinochi
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I'm at a point in a story where I need to introduce my quintessential 'evil' character. I have already mentioned that this person is evil, but now he is actually making an appearance. how exactly should I introduce an evil character as someone that must invoke fear, even though at the time he hasn't done anything evil? Or rather, how does one introduce someone like this in a H.P. Lovecraftian tone instead of something that sounds like it came out of a bad marvel comic? How do all of you introduce your villains, if you have one?

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I become one myself!!!

~paraphrased "Dead and Loving It"

being an author, well, you have to take upon the character of everyone you write. A menacing person can be introduced through the eyes of another character, which is how I did one of my evil dudes. His character developed more as the story went on.

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Actually the fact that your main character is a child may actually work to your advantage. Children seem to sense and notice things their elders do not. Having the child aware of and wary of your evil character when the adults around him are totally clueless and refuse to believe the child's assertions that there is "something bad" about your villain can make for some interesting situations.

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Actually the fact that your main character is a child may actually work to your advantage. Children seem to sense and notice things their elders do not. Having the child aware of and wary of your evil character when the adults around him are totally clueless and refuse to believe the child's assertions that there is "something bad" about your villain can make for some interesting situations.

Yeah that's a good point. That would be an ideal way to reveal the evil of the character. I think evil that's gradually revealed can often be more shocking and disturbing than being introduced at the very start at full volume. Unfortunately, if everyone is aware from the start that this character is evil then that strategy won't really work. Is everyone aware that the character is evil, or just the child? Or perhaps nobody?

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I would think only the child would be aware of his evil and he would be afraid to tell anyone at first and simply observes the villain for a time until something happens that makes him tell an (unbelieving, of course) adult.

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Ever see 'Constantine?' The entrance of the Devil is a great scene. Immaculate in a comfortable tailored suit, he has bare feet that are covered in slime. Just enough of an 'off' note to let you know this is not a normal person.

Or one of the Dracula movies: Reeves' character cuts himself shaving, Dracula turns and licks the razor clean. We see it, but the character on screen doesn't.

I'd pick a small but incredibly inhuman mannerism that the evil character might display. Imagine a movie where there is an aside for the audience. The characters (except your kid) don't notice, but we see him, i don't know... Pick snails off the grass and eat them. Gets the cat to leave him alone by flashing fiery-red eyes. Everyone hears a traffic accident outside and rushes to the window to see, but this guy just rolls his head back as one having an orgasm.

Maybe every time he passes a computer or TV screen, there's a shot of either the Elder Ones peering into our dimension in anticipation, or condemned souls screaming for release. Every dog he touches runs out into traffic. Birds leave a tree when he leans against it and never, ever come back. The kid hears the hungry chicks screaming for food, and sees the mom on a nearby fence, frantic for her kids but unwilling to touch the tree.

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this chapter is a sort of flashback/backstory type thing. in the present story, we know that the child's uncle (the villain) has done something terrible in the past. The child is also a werewolf, so I'm going to play around with a lot of instinctual observations about the villain. It's also not going to help because his family hates him, so he has to deal with his uncle no matter how he feels about him. The one feature that I wanted for Draven (bad guy) was that his eyes are black and no light or images reflect in them. Even the child doesn't know that his uncle is evil, he just feels like everything is very 'wrong' when he is around him.

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When I portay evil in a character I like to make them seem very... calm. Like when most people do something bad it's usualy because they lost their temper. There's lots of them shouting and screaming.

But what scares people is when someone should be throwinging a tantrum, but they just sit still and are eerily quiet. And when they see something awful they show no emotion.

Maybe you could have something awful happen, and have the uncle just pretend to get as upset as everyone else, but only one or two people see through his act.

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