I have to say, when I read a book that I usually end up loving, they usually have a great villain. Not necessarily the most evil person in the world, but someone with baggage. With a horrible past. Something bad happening in their life that has made them the way they are.
I love reading about the villain's past. What happened to them that made them so evil, and why they are so set on destroying or making the hero's life difficult.
One of my favorite, complex villain's is Lord Voldemort. A.K.A. Tom Riddle. I think J.K. Rowling did a perfect job with him. He is one person I would never want to meet. He was ruthless, scary, and downright evil. But, there had to be a reason for it all. He had a complicated past. A father who basically destroyed his mother's life, and no mother to raise him. He was thrown into an orphanage as a child, and had no one to love him or any reason to be happy.
I loved J.K. Rowling's depiction of him. A tortured soul, whose hunger for power consumed him in the end. A great character if you ask me.
So, when writing my villain's, I have to make them believable. Not just out to destroy the world for no reason. I give them their own story. Their own faults. Writing villain's is actually fun for me. Call me crazy I guess. ;)
So, I guess the question of the day is...
Who is your favorite villain and why?