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First Draft: Crafting Antagonists

In last week’s episode, I covered crafting protagonists, so I couldn’t very well forget about the other side of the coin, the thorn in our protagonist’s shoe… the antagonist.

I enjoy crafting antagonists. As a reader, I love to read a well rounded antagonist, and I look to recreate that in my own stories.

Here are my tips on crafting antagonists:

Motive

I believe this is a vital point. A villain believes they are the hero of their own story, right? Let the reader know why your antagonist is the ‘bad’ guy of the narrative.

Their reasoning can be skewed or a twisted version of what is right, but it is still a motive.

History/ Back Story

What in their history led them to this moment? This closely links in with motive. What turn of events/ incidents made them believe that what they are doing is right? It can be a lot of little moments that finally broke them, or one major trauma. As long as you show the reader the why, they will more readily accept your antagonist.

Believability

Just like I explained in the crafting protagonists post, your antagonist needs to have realistic flaws and good traits. An angry man, hell bent on world domination with no hobbies, loves, or other interests is like a stereotypical, cartoon villain. Just like your protagonist, your antagonist’s motivation can be love. It may be twisted, but it is love all the same. Every person has light and dark in them.


Do you like crafting your antagonists? What are your tried and tested tips to achieving a well rounded, believable character?


Content belongs to K.J Chapman

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2 thoughts on “First Draft: Crafting Antagonists”

  1. I love antagonists too! It depends on what you’re writing, but I love to make mine extreme and ridiculous, but with a motive that you can’t actually hate them for.

    They’re the only characters that really flow to me, which I guess says more about me than about them. Now If I could just get my antagonists to stop being so hell-bent on human sacrifice, it would make writing children’s books a whole lot easier.

    Liked by 1 person

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