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Creating The Antagonist

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
A challenge for every writer I've ever talked to. And the driving force behind the story line. Without the conflict there is no story. The bad guy is as crucial as the hero/heroine, maybe more.

How do you not only create but on some level relate to the evil? I'm a nice person... even if I'm the only person who thinks so. Breaking away from the 'want to be nice and sweet' into the 'shit down your neck' kind of thinking can be easy … which might not be a good thing.

Most of us (Which is me being nice and saying EVERYONE) have a dark side. That part of us that wants to key the side of the cheater boyfriend’s car. The side that rears its ugly head and flips the bird at the driver tailgating you. The teeth gnashing witch that wants to chop the balls off the married boss sexually harassing you. Frustrated, hurt, angry, indignant and wounded. When the only songs on your playlist are: Earl had to die by the Dixie Chicks & Alanis Morissette's Jagged little Pill album.
You ALL know the dark side I'm referring to.

When I write an antagonist I tap deep into that side of me, mix in my drama queen to really blow it out of proportion. Add evil intent/objective, lack of conscience and reason. Throw the whole batter into my plot and go for it. I may hate my own antagonist, but deep down inside where the dark ember burns no matter hard I try to deny it in my everyday life...there is a connection to a well formed antagonist.
On what level does the bad guy matter to you?

Wendy S. Hales


  1. I love a good bad guy! The badder he is the better the story. And if you can create sympathy for him as they did for the Mummy in the movie the Mummy, all the better. I was torn during that movie. Yes, he was the bad guy and he killed people, but he did it for love. He broke my heart. Also, who doesn't love Phantom of the Opera. Another wounded villian I fell in love with.

    Wendy, I love your take on reaching into that dark side of us and letting it out to write complicated, interesting, villians.

  1. L.L. Muir said...:

    Mummy is a good example. It didn't hurt that the guy was unbelievably hot.
    It may be a coincidence, but all my bad guys are pretty boys. Maybe I have an issue with pretty boys!

  1. the bad guy has to be intense and intelligent. devious and vicious. surprising, scary. I also feel that to make a formidable villian an author has to find the dark side of themselves. my favorite villian is the souless Voldemort 'flight of death'

  1. Jennifer K. said...:

    I agree with that. Although in your book Immortal Becoming I love the good guys way to much to enjoy the bastard behind all the pain and suffering of those women. I am interested to see how much we learn about Osiris in the upcoming book(s). Maybe he will be one of those bad guys that you hate to love.

  1. Tiffinie & L.L.: The Mummy? The guy is rockin' HOT (Once he sucked the life out of enough people to get that way). Definitely worthy of clemency. I think I could turn into the bad guy for him. Tie him in a room and go Dexter-style hunting to keep him in fine shape! WHOOP.

    Rachel: Intense, intelligent, devious & vicious is a perfect analogy of the perfect villain. Another could be a Kardashian-like woman with Magyver skills who reallllly needs that seven carat diamond. (The Kardashians are scary anyway) I love the diversity of bad guys.

    Jennifer K: In Book Two Shadow Revealed Osiris is still a megalomaniac ... he's tough to like let alone love. He is smart and scary as hell.