Friday, April 9, 2010

Capturing the Evil

We all know that we want our characters to be memorable. It takes skill, effort and practice to really get it right and when the pen hits the paper we want our characters to truly come alive.

Last night I worked on a new painting, based on the popular anime OVA's called Hellsing, and in it, I painted a portrait of Alucard (that's Dracula backwards, for those of you who don't realize or know) and I failed to capture his "evil." In the series, he is not necessarily evil himself, but there is a certain evil quality that surrounds him. I did not capture it in the painting and as I look at it I can't help but think about how well I'd do capturing it in writing.

What do you do to, as a writer, to capture a bad guy's "evil?" Have you done it well, or do you still need to work on it.
P.S. I AM RE-Painting the right side and there is a strong possibility that Alucard will not be there in the next version.


Charles Gramlich said...

Evil is such an emotion that it is hard to capture. It's something I know when I see it, or read it.

Voidwalker said...

I talked about it before, how it can be difficult to capture fear, since different things frighten different people, but sometimes evil and fear aren't always connected.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I have an alien race that can be considered 'evil' but not an actual character. (A few that are jerks, though.) I tried to convey cold and agression the best I could. Hopefully it worked.

DL Hammons said...

I probably nailed my bad guy better than my protagonist. Hmmmmmmmm

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Actually, I sorta loved your painting as is - everything about him is twisted and creepy. Those vacant, red eyes...*shudder* But how to portray evil is a great question - one I think about daily. As a horror writer, I'm constantly discovering ways to add scary depth to my evil characters. Typically, I think of what's traditionally scary for villains and then write the opposite - and always, ALWAYS filter him once or twice through my protag's or other character's eyes to spot reactions I may have missed myself. Great post!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Hmm, I'm not sure how or if I nail it. I just know I HATE them, so I hope the reader does too.

Awesome painting.