I need to get a discussion going about villains, because I'm having trouble developing one in my current story. If we can just talk generally about villains I might get my subconscious into action and produce the goods. Right now there is a discussion on Amazon about this and someone there whinged when her story was rejected because the reader disliked the villain and did not identify with it at all. The author was miffed about this because her argument was "you are not MEANT to like the villain." But when you look at stories like LOTR, the most interesting villains are not those who are just outright evil. Sauron is the most evil by far. But the lesser villains like the Nazgul, Gollum Saruman and so on, are all more interesting and I'm sure it's because if you dig deep enough they ALL have redeeming features or once had redeeming features and that is what makes them complex and interesting. Cruella DeVille was a stylish socialite with beautiful clothes. We might admire that in anyone else but in her it somehow emphasised her evil. Wormtongue loved Eowyn. That scene where it showed was one of the most powerful on the movie. Such tenderness from such a slimeball. Brilliant. Gollum's good side arguing with his bad. Mesmerising! My evil character in Ripple is Erishkigal and in spite of her poison and her evil lust for dolphin flesh, she was flat and boring to begin with and it wasn't until I made her loving and motherly towards her servants (her own tentacles) that she came to life. Any other thoughts on the complexities of villains to share?