No story is complete without an antagonist to cause problems for your main character, so this week I’m looking at tips and advice on how you can create a great antagonist. According to the dictionary, antagonist means a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something; an adversary. Think villain versus hero. There’s never a superhero without a villain plotting to overthrow and bring them down. The same holds true for fiction. No matter who your character is, there will always be something or someone getting in their way and the more complex your antagonist is, the more layers you add to your character as well. The links I’ve chosen offer some very valuable information along with advice and tips that you can use to ensure you create the perfect antagonist for your story.
- https://www.tckpublishing.com/how-to-write-an-antagonist/ – How to Write a Compelling Antagonist: 5 Steps to Building a Better Baddie: This article begins by explaining why your story needs a great villain before offering 5 secrets to writing a compelling antagonist. One of the most important tips is keeping them human and this article delves right into this along with other important characteristics.
- https://www.well-storied.com/blog/the-four-main-types-of-epic-antagonists – The Four Main Types of Epic Antagonists: You can read this article or list to it on the Well-Storied Podcast. While we know every story needs a good villain, what type of villain you create will depend on a number of things. There are four main types of antagonist we see in fiction and this article takes a closer look at each of them and includes examples, and tips on how you can make your villain stand out.
- http://howtowriteshop.loridevoti.com/2017/06/ten-tips-for-a-terrific-antagonist/ – Ten Writing Tips for Creating an Antagonist: Some people believe that your story is only as good as your antagonist, so you need to get them right. This article offers ten tips to help you do just that. While some writers may spend more time planning their main character, this article suggests you spend as much time on your antagonist too. Other tips include giving them a goal, writing in their pint of view, making sure they feel justified in their actions, and so on. These tips are definitely worth reading.
- https://creativescreenwriting.com/antagonist/ – How to Create the Perfect Antagonist: This article explores the four essential criteria needed to create a great antagonist. It offers four questions that you should answer before exploring each question further and providing examples of how to and how not to do things. The article finishes by explaining the importance of spending time on your antagonist and how that can also shape your hero.
- https://writingcooperative.com/5-ways-to-build-admirable-antagonists-da33337e3784 – 5 Ways to Build Admirable Antagonists: According to Alfred Hitchcock, the more successful your villain is, the more successful your story will be. Many readers love to hate the villain and in this article you’ll find 5 ways to help you create the perfect antagonist. There are tips and examples included to help and some really great ideas to help you connect with your characters and create relationships that will jump off the page.
- https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/6-ways-to-write-better-bad-guys – 6 Ways to Write Better Bad Guys: This article from Writer’s Digest offers 6 top tips for creating a great antagonist. Always remember, your antagonist is the person who keeps your hero (protagonist) from reaching their goals. The tips in this post include ensuring your antagonist is portrayed as a real person with emotions, etc. Pure evil is cliched so remember to give your antagonist viable reasons for the way they behave. There are some excellent tips in this article that are definitely worth taking the time to read and implement.
- https://www.masterclass.com/articles/the-main-types-of-antagonists#quiz-0 – The 4 Main Types of Antagonists: This is a MasterClass article. It’s a 2 minute read written by David Mamet. The article explains what an antagonist is before exploring the 4 types of antagonist that you can create in your stories. There are some great examples provided as well.
- https://www.nownovel.com/blog/antagonist-examples-in-novels/ – Antagonist Examples: How to Write Great Adversaries: The final link for this column is from Now Novel and it starts with 7 tips on how to create great antagonists before exploring each one further and including examples from great novels. Take Sauron for example or Lord Voldemort. This article looks at them in detail and explains why they work. There’s also a great infographic with a list of words to describe your antagonist’s personality and appearance. The examples included in this article make it a superb guide and one that will have your creating great antagonists before you know it.
I hope you enjoyed the links today and have a better understanding of how to create a great antagonist as well as why you should. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans