It should be said that conflict can make or break a book. So, in a book where the villain is the main conflict, it’s important that they really sing to us. It’s important that they permeate every page (or almost every page) of the text. It’s important that we know not only that they are there, but also that they live up to being worthy of punishment or absolution by our protag. So, here are tips to writing your villain as someone who’s at odds with the villain.
The first biggest and most important tip to writing a villain is to make them believable. And, nothing is more believable than a person with their own motivations and goals. Especially when those goals come at odds with those they’re facing. Thus, a villain as a hero opposed to the protag is strong and feels entirely real.
Perhaps they aren’t the villain? Perhaps they’re trying to do something good for the world? However, they are at odds with your POV character. And that’s what makes them the “villain” of your story. What are some stories you’ve read with a compelling villain who was ambiguously a villain?