How do you build a creepy villain when they are less than obvious to the average person?
You build creepy in layers.
We often build layers in our characters, but our villains need them to, especially if they are building the impending doom for your characters.
Creepy Layers Every Villain Should Have:
1. Motivations that make them evil. Villains need motivations for what they do, just like our other characters. Their motivations don’t need to seem normal to the rest of us, but they need to have some.
2. Private moments to enjoy their wickedness. In your story include some scenes that show the wickedness of the villain’s thought world or private actions.
4. Proximity to the hero or heroine who is unaware of the danger they are in. This often adds a lot of conflict to a scene and gives opportunity to build the tension.
5. Public face that hides the truth and often makes those who suspect them seem judgmental. This will allow your hero or heroine to feel guilt when suspecting the villain.
6. Reflect their villain nature in their scene surroundings. If you have a gritty villain, show that in the setting. If you have a serial killer they will have a much darker setting. Build the darkness of your villain in the scene’s story world. This allows you to show the evil without making it easy for the hero/heroine to recognize their darkness.
What layers do you think make a villain creepy?