A Writer's Journey

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.

Victor Hugo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Character Archetypes - The Anti-Villain

This week's Writing Wednesday post continues the Character Archetype series I wanted to cover. Again, with a new batch of fresh characters I'm going to be playing with, I wanted to get a little more technical about what the different archetypes are so that I can have some sort of idea how to distinguish my own characters' places within the story.

Much like the anti-hero, the anti-villain goes against the typical character traits that would normally embody a villain. Where the anti-hero means to put a darker take on the squeaky clean hero, the anti-villain means to humanize the evil world dominating villain.

Most anti-villains are aware that what they're doing is not necessarily good, though they may be reluctant to dive completely into the "evil" and relinquish the part of themselves that still hold some sort of moral fiber. Or perhaps it could just be a small hint of cowardice to completely become the evil that they thought they could handle.

Prime example:

Draco Malfoy

Anti-villains could also have large gray areas in their moral code. In all other aspects, they would be considered the villains because they exhibit qualities normally seen in villainous characters (i.e. stealing, cheating, killing, etc.). But the gray areas are what sets them apart from a true villain. These gray areas may be fueled by love for friends and family, and/or loyalty to the same.

Prime example:

Jonah Prowse from Jericho

For a more in-depth explanation of the anti-villain, mosey on over here.

How do you feel about anti-villains? Do you think they make more effective villains than true villains?

And now for our regularly scheduled pretty...