Just as the Perfect is the enemy of the Good, so too is the Absolute Worst the enemy of the Bad. When you plan an evil action, always remember that perfection is unattainable save only in deeds that do not matter. Do not worry whether you should have used 300 pound breaking strength cable to suspend the heroine over a gorge instead of 200 pound - nine times out of ten, this will not be something you will ever have to think about after the fact.
- Save some for later. Try not to think of your life's work as something you have to accomplish all at once. Monomaniacal evildoers as a rule tend to be hard on themselves when thinking of all the evil deeds left undone at the end of the day, but it is a fact that no matter how horrific you have been on even your best days, there is an infinite amount of woe you can wreak tomorrow.
- They're only minions. If something in your plan has gone awry because of one of your allies or underlings, something you are sure you could have handled yourself if you had been in the situation, remember that there is a reason you are the dark lord and they are the lackeys after all, and try not to let the matter get the best of you. Perhaps you can still attend to the matter later and make it go as badly as you had hoped, or maybe you can exact a painful and humiliating retribution when you get a chance in order to cheer yourself up. Above all, do not lose control over a trifling incident, lest one of your enemies from within find it a convenient excuse to make their move.
- Grade on a curve. Many times a supervillain will obsess about the weak points in his or her evil career, not thinking of exactly how much of a problem the good guys are facing. They may well be despairing of any way to defeat the darkness, not even thinking of how one or two little things have turned out not to be as dire as they could have. There have even been cases where the forces of good have been surprised by the capitulation of an excessively insecure malefactor just before they were ready to offer terms of their own.
Strokes of genius
- Point of view. Look at your legacy through your victims' eyes. Literally, if you actually have their eyes in your possession, otherwise figuratively. You may be surprised to see that the huge gaping problems you have been fretting over can be taken care of by some slight tweaking.
- Brainstorming. Not referring to the actual phenomenon where lightning bolts fly from your skull (though that is fine also), but the kind of wide-open team activity where all sorts of unfiltered, outlandish ideas are being gathered without the harsh glare of criticism being directed at them. These are particularly helpful in the early stages of plotting and scheming, but can also be vital when your organization is faced with some sort of challenge or crisis where creative, unpredictable thinking is likely to be the only way to succeed.
Traps for mere fools
- Leaving them hanging. Your forces have struck and left gaping holes in the armies of good, but you are too busy planning the optimum mop-up action to actually rout them until it is too late. This is a fault of getting stuck in one mode of thinking past the point where it is applicable. There is such a thing as overthinking evil deeds, so once the difficult and devious part is all over and your juggernaut has some momentum, do not be afraid to let catch as catch can while the shock and awe is still working for you.
- Flawless isn't scary. If you have a perfect peaches and cream complexion with an attractive dewy sheen, nobody will be much inclined to take you seriously as an evil supervillain. Your best bet is to take to wearing a misshapen steel mask or to try chemicals.
Precious and needful
- Sticky gold stars.
- Kitchen timer. To keep those planning meetings under control.
- Two-handed broadsword. The best way to cut through the Gordian knot.
- How to come up with brand new evil schemes
- How to avoid a gruesome demise
- How to walk away from defeat
- How to earn money part-time
- How to escape from shackles
- How to walk away from an explosion
- How to survive a road trip
- Image credit 16/365 Tattoo by Caps the flickr (Censuré)
- Image credit Take Extra Care by Animaux
- Image credit Loupe macro - Macbook by Collin Mel
- It will kill you according to one study.