Villains are difficult to portray. They

Villains are difficult to portray. They must be villainous but they must also be believable. No black hats and mustaches, today’s villains must come complete with good and bad traits that come in a combination that makes their goals diametrically opposed to the goals of the main character. Hence the conflict in the story.. Those traits must be portrayed so the reader cheers for the demise of a villain that was a worthy opponent of the main character. And they must be so well-matched that the outcome is in doubt until the climax. of the story
Whew!!! That’s asking a lot from a writer.
I struggle with villains. I’ve always believed in the good in people so I tend to make even villains too likable. Which creates a problem later on in the story when the villain must be thrown under the bus. Or in jail. Or wherever. Occasionally I’ve rewritten an entire story to accommodate the new character that started out as the villain. Then, of course, I had to find a new villain. It makes writing interesting.

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