From my novel reading I've found one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish is to take the stereotype out of the evil character. More than anyone else, the antagonist is portrayed similarly in so many novels. It's understandable. Although evil appears in many forms, sociopaths and psychopaths definitely contain comparable personality traits resulting in some predictable leanings or actions.
Toning it down to the less threatening antagonists such as mean girls or ladder-climbers or those who like to sabotage their acquaintances, it's still a battle to create them with unique characteristics.
Why is this?
Possibly it's because inherent in evil is the ultimate selfishness manifested in dramatic self-serving behaviors. Add perversions or murderous tendencies and mix those with the inability to feel remorse, the author is obligated to demonstrate those common denominators of evil. Originality doesn't come easy other than in the possible surroundings or weaponry used to inflict maximum harm which is where the depravity of the villain can be exploited.
When writers loose their imaginations to explore evil, the possibilities are endless in spite of their being "nothing new under the sun". And perhaps it's that very observation way back in Solomon's time that explains the stereotypical antagonist in stories, be it a man or a spirit. Sin has been prevalent for a long time on earth. All kinds of it have been apparent and flourishing in this fallen world.
Do you notice the evil stereotype in your reading? Have you fought to produce a villain who appeared "different" in his makeup or actions?
Father, help each of us to write with authenticity. Help us to look inside of ourselves and write from the place of honesty. May we always honor you with our stories and be grateful for the opportunity to tell them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.