I’ve read many different takes on villains. Some people say they are the second most important character in the novel. Some people say they must be an anti-hero rather than simply a villain. Some people say they are not necessary, and yet others claim they have no place in fiction in this day and age.
I do not believe any of those statements to be accurate. As with anything in writing, it is too subjective, too dependent on the situation to make any of the broad generalizations bloggers so enjoy. The thing about villains/anti-heroes is that they are fun. In fact, they are often more enjoyable to write than the heroes themselves. For me, it is impossibly easy to get too caught up in them. So, my last novel featured no villain at all. It was a love story and it did not need one. This time, there is a villain of sorts, but he stand as a more of compelling force than such a living, breathing person as my very first villain. He is distant. We do not exactly know his motives (in this draft anyway).
I also think it depends heavily on genre. A drama is probably going to require a more three-dimensional baddie than a romantic comedy, for example.
So what do you think? Tell us what genre you write, how you handle the villains, and how of if the two combine.