[found on hsquiresnovels.com; by H. Squires]
“So how do you write wicked characters?
…I usually run down a list of good villains in my head—extracting their “not-so-nice” qualities. One specific sinister trait I enjoy is an intelligent character that teeters on trustworthiness. Another attribute is the unsuspecting or unlikely evil.
Your villain, however, doesn’t always have to be a person. Objects can be most useful. Even items—normally not scary, can become frightful if given the right antidote [sic] of suspense and evil attributes.
Answer questions about your villain(s):
-First, identify the enemy.
-If you were the main character, what’s so scary about the bad guy?
-What sinister qualities does your antagonist have?
-All characters have a weakness, what’s your villain’s “Achilles Heal”?
-Does he/she act alone or do they have a group?
-If the villain isn’t a person, what abilities does the object(s) exhibit?
In the beginning, I wouldn’t resolve the conflict between your main character(s) vs. the bad guy. For now, focus on developing the evil personality—demonstrate several situations that make them “bad”.”