Quote Originally Posted by blackcat777 View Post
How is your villain corrupting people? Does he do it intentionally? What is his alignment specifically (e.g., lawful good)?

What is the source of your villain/MC conflict?

I took someone's advice recently that your villain has to be AT LEAST as respectable as your hero... and I went so hard that I had to switch the novel to his POV because what followed was so epic. A couple of thoughts about great villains come to my mind.

It helps if villains believe in what they do, and are willing to stomp boundaries to get what they want. You should consider a sympathetic motivation (I went with jealousy) that people can relate to, even if how they act on that motivation is completely screwed up. You can consider giving them qualities that implies an adherence to their own moral code or standards (what WON'T your villain do? what must he do to do right by himself?). Unflinchingly stopping at nothing is something most people don't have the nerve to do.

I did a compare/contrast with my hero and villain and gave them opposing qualities that would create interesting situations. My villain has masterful self-control, speaks with elegance, is persuasive and charming. My hero can't articulate himself to save his life and has anger management problems. It's simple for my villain to make my hero look bad--not to the reader, but in the eyes of others in the story. My villain also has a physical problem that the hero lacks and this plays on the villain's mental state.

The villain doesn't have to be right, you don't have to endorse him. But he should be every bit as compelling as your hero and maybe even a little more powerful/skilled/etc. If he isn't, what measure of triumph is there for your hero?

Light doesn't always equal good, either... and someone else's good deeds can antagonize another person's agenda...
Thanks for taking the time to comment. Corruption is unintentional. Right now. Feel that's the best answer to go with until something shows me otherwise. And it fits with few points i have for his backstory. The alignment was accidental, and i know he doesn't know that he's aligned himself with anyone. It's complicated. I can reveal more details to you in a PM if you wish.

He's a new idea (a few days old) so i'll see where he goes. Thanks for all the lovely advice!