Jeremy, the local plumber from Wisconsin, is currently strapped to NF’s (Nefarious Villain) torturing table. He strains and heaves, but to no avail. Alas, the villain’s weak-minded henchmen have done a thorough job with the knots. Without his trusty plunger, escape will be rendered more difficult. Far more difficult.
Suddenly, the door opens. A jingle of keys is heard, and Jeremy thinks that perhaps his friends have come to liberate him. His hopes are dashed when he sees the cruel, thin face of NF round the corner and shut the door, grinning maliciously. In his right hand hangs an object draped in cloth. No doubt a set of torture tools.
“You’ve fallen right into my trap!” Cackles NF. He rubs his hands together, still with one hand on the object. It was an odd gesture. “Now you’ll have to face the full wrath of my scheme!” He throws the cloth off of the object in his hand, and there stands a simple, plain, business suitcase.
“Really?” quips Jeremy. Truth be told, he’s a little relieved. Maybe this is one of NF’s practical jokes. Jeremy’s heart sinks when he realizes what it really is. “Oh, no, you wouldn’t…” He says. “You can’t do this. That fell magic is dangerous in the wrong hands. This could spell the end of the world as we know it.”
NF only chuckles all the more. “Then I’m taking you down with me!” He said, opening the suitcase. Jeremy braced himself for the end. “Would you like to buy a pair of shoes?” Asked NF conversationally. “You can get a pair here for only 79.99$, cash back on pairs 3-6! In addition, I’m selling these to you at half the market price, so…” NF whipped out a contract from his pocket. “Sign this, and you’re given full legal authority to sell these shoes for double, even triple the price!”
“I’ll never join you.” Said Jeremy, his lips a tight line.
NF cackled again. “Then we’ll be here forever! You’ve got to start this Pyramid Scheme sometime!”
Eh? What’s that? You said something about an article I had to write? Good grief, I thought you wanted me to write a comedic short story! Okay, okay. I’ve had my joke. Hopefully you found that amusing.
Anyway, the schemer. Quite a dastardly foe if there ever was one. An aloof villain. Knows all, sees all, manipulates all. The great hatcher of plots. (But writers make plots…does this mean that all writers are some kind of villain? Hehehe…) The briber of henchmen and the planner of plans.
The schemer is a pretty common-or-garden villain. Usually paired with the monster, the schemer is the brains of the operation. Instead of fighting his opponents straight-out, he places carefully crafted mysteries and lies, always delaying them until he’s able to pull off a deathblow. That usually takes the form of a superweapon or something.
There are still a few essential traits to the schemer, however. The first is somewhat obvious but (obviously) needs to be stressed: the schemer’s intellect. Whether the schemer is a gifted physicist or has 300 IQ, the schemer has to have some tangible token of his/her brains. This causes the reader to think, “Well no wonder he’s concocted such a brilliant plot. He’s the world’s most famous chess master.”
The next essential trait is a tendency to odd habits. Slightly mad cackling, liking burnt toast, and an obsession with pink parakeets are all examples. To reinforce the fact that the schemer is so high above everyone else in intellect, another odd detail is essential. It makes your schemer more of an original villain, and far more believable.
Aside from that, there’s not much difference between your schemer and a lot of other villains. Some villains can concoct schemes but not be schemers. The schemer in particular, however, fights almost exclusively with henchmen and plans. The schemer seems somewhat invincible and untouchable, cultivating a fear factor in your reader.
(Psst…If you want to find you what happened to Jeremy, you have to like, comment and share!)
Good luck, and happy writing!
Be sure to check out my latest novel, Book 1 in the Praetors of Lost Magic Series, and our Publications page. Until then, writers!