There's been a lot written about the Hero's Journey, their call to adventure, the obstacles they have, and their eventual victory (even if they die in the process) but what about someone that turns into a Villain?
I'm working on a character that's going down a similar path, but I haven't yet decided whether she stays on the anti-hero side or becomes someone just as evil as the people she's fighting against.
To put this in context, my story is about a civil war breaking out with the characters caught in the middle of it. She's a sixteen year old girl whose family is just trying to survive. Her older sister and mother are active in opposing the President, but the rest of the family is keeping their heads down and not wishing to get involved.
Course, that doesn't last very long. Their hometown is under occupation, leading to food shortages and the danger of being brutalized by the occupiers. Her father is working himself to death, but still can't come up with enough to keep them alive. The others can't find jobs so like many others, she ends up becoming a prostitute to procure food for her family. She's only 16, but can pass herself off as an adult woman.
It's something she becomes bitter about, primarily serving the occupiers (with all the risks that entails), and she starts passing information she hears from them to the resistance. Most of it is trivial, but she hopes it'll free them from enemy control.
Her and the rest of her family get taken into custody, at which point her mind really takes a dark turn. It's less about survival now and more about revenge. She's freed, and works to get the rest of her family out (I.E.: sleep with whoever can help her) Only her older sister is released, who tells the story of how she witnessed their father being tortured and murdered in front of her. The fate of their mother and older brother is currently unknown, but likely unpleasant. The older sister hadn't been involved with resistance activity since the occupation, but now has a very personal motive.
Afterwards, in the process of meeting up with them, my viewpoint character kills for the first time. She feels no remorse, only satisfaction that justice was done (although is a little bothered that she doesn't feel any regret) The sisters get involved with the group, continue training and prepare to fight back against the occupiers.
Now I'm only giving a brief summary because I don't want to spoil the entire plot, but she's in the middle of a villainous journey. More than anything, she wants to kill her brother's boyfriend, who give her family's names to the enemy. Why she doesn't know or care, but she intends to make him suffer for it; killing isn't nearly enough.
She's meant to have sympathetic motivations and be a sympathetic character. However, I haven't yet decided just how far she's willing to go. I want to make the transformation believable if I do go the full villainous route, rather than have it be immediate and jarring. Right now, she's going down that path and is mostly oblivious to it, focusing on getting revenge.
Any thoughts on steps she can take to either become what she's fighting against, or realize how far she's gone and start pulling back? I have an idea on where I'm taking her character, but it always helps to hear a second opinion.