Is Your Villain a Psychopath?
Lately this book has been wandering across my radar a lot. Because I love a well-crafted antagonist, not to mention a juicy dark hero, I’ll probably end up reading it. You know, used. In paper. Due respect, man, I’m a struggling small press publisher.
Meanwhile, today, here’s an article in Forbes: Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great CEOs. Now, doesn’t that sound like a fantastic villain? So I finally wandered off and looked up the oft-referenced Hare Psychopathy Checklist.
Here are the components, for your villainous pleasure. For each characteristic that is listed, the subject is given a score: 0 for “no,” 1 for “somewhat,” and 2 for “definitely does apply.” According to Ronson, the author of The Psychopath Test, “Somebody you have to be wary of would be in early 20s and a really hard core damaged person, a really dangerous psychopath, would score around a 30. In law the cutoff is 29.”
A brief description of each of these metrics appears here.
Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Lack of remorse or guilt
Callous/lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.
Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Poor behavioral control
Lack of realistic long-term goals
Early behavior problems
Revocation of conditional release
Traits not correlated with either factor
Promiscuous sexual behavior
Many short-term marital relationships
The primary antagonist of my current WIP (War-Lord of the Gods) scores a 32. The protagonist scores a 24. Hmm.