Thursday, 28 May 2015

Even Antagonists Have Feelings...

I've made good progress with the character bios. I've completed those for my hero and heroine- and found out a few snippets I hadn't realised before which will be useful in the later chapters.

Now I'm at the stage of creating the profiles of my antagonists. One isn't very pleasant, but I now know why.

And the second, lesser antagonist, is my heroine's sister. She's not really bad, just selfish. And she's a catalyst without intending to be.

(Now I know they are fictional characters, but they have to be real to a reader, so they need to be real to me too. So remember that as you read the next couple of paragraphs.)

Just like the other characters, the baddies will have had a mother, and perhaps other family members that they may have loved and cared for in their own way.

 They could even have shared some of the same influences and experiences as my protagonists, but something has made them unpleasant instead.

Think of Star Wars, especially episode 3, when you see Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side and taking on the identity of Darth Vader...

I remember a writer explaining that while a reader won't like the bad person, they want to understand why they are bad.

Perhaps it's just human nature; compassion, or the unwillingness to believe that someone could be evil for no reason.

Fortunately my main antagonist is taking a role in a romance, not a gruesome psychological crime thriller...

I hope to be back to writing Chapter Twelve by the middle of next week, if not sooner.

So, do you want to know how an antagonist has turned out that way?


  1. I think we're the same with 'real' people when it comes to wanting to find a reason for bad or evil behaviour. There are always newspaper reports on the serial killer's upbringing and/or family. Terrorists' school friends are interviewed, the early lives of criminals are studied.

    1. Exactly, Patsy. I suppose if we have a reason for someone going bad we can rationalise it and in a way accept it. It's those that have no explanation that are scary, because of the unknown.

  2. I'm always interested in why people behave or turn out the way they do, so it's probably a good exercise, Carol!

    1. I've found it a very useful exercise, Rosemary, and hopefully it will make those characters more rounded.

  3. One of my main characters is selfish and thoughtless but I'm trying to make the reader understand what led her to be like this. It's not always easy.

  4. No, it isn't, Wendy. Sometimes it's useful just to drop in the odd comment, or action, that gives the reader a clue and they'll often pick up that there's probably a reason for it, then you can find a way to say more when it fits.


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