Today, I'll be focusing on Chapter 11: Antagonists.

They are perhaps the funnest characters to write because it allows you to explore the dark side. In order for the antag to feel as the biggest threat to your protag, you must give the antag motives and feelings. He/she must be developed. We have to
understand this character.

To me, the antag is HANDS DOWN the reason I will re-read a book. It's what makes me read fantasy over romance, even though I enjoy both. Romance usually has a weak antag. The struggle within the MC just isn't there like it is in fantasy. Why isn't the struggle there? A weak antag.

For example, my antag is loved by most of the characters I set against her. Each one of them will always think twice before trying to kill her. Why? Because she's a person. Although she always goes with the evil twist, every now in then there's a glimpse of who she used to be. A caring, compassionate, righteous warrior.

So how do you get an antag that makes the MC's struggle compelling? Go through the exact same steps you did with your main character. Give him reasons. Give him qualities. Make the internal struggle there. Allow even your antag to connect with the character.

Here's a movie example: Law Abiding Citizen. You walk the path of the insane murder who slices his victim in millions of pieces, who kills multiple innocent people. There's no way you can connect with someone like that, right? Wrong. Very wrong. You see at the beginning of his story the injustices he had to face when his mother and daughter were brutally raped and killed. The rapists? Let free. So he took justice into his own hands while trying to show the world there needs to stricter laws.

Amazing movie if you haven't seen it.

Question of the Day:

How did you know which good qualities to give your Antagonist?

There really only seemed to be a few ways I could go with the character. I knew she needed to be brave. I have a martyr theme going throughout my entire book. The devil's will is actually its own embodiment, while the people are just the hosts. When one host dies, the will goes to the stronger host -- the person that kills the current host. So, in order for Becca, the current Christian Devil, to become the devil -- she had to kill Lucifer. So bravery and determination, check. I wanted to also give her qualities that were the opposite of what you might think of the devil. Selfless, check. Sweet, check. Loving, check. Compassionate, check. These qualities you see in slight flashes of hesitation. I wanted her to always show inner conflict. And the last quality that I made sure she had was the ability to manipulate. I believe mind games are some of the hardest things a character can go through and overcome, so naturally, I wanted my MC to over come all the mind games I could imagine.

So when deciding what qualities you want your antagonist to have, consider inner conflict and struggles you want your MC to go through. If you want physical challenges, make your antag the strongest person alive. If you want mental challenges, have them face a genius. If you want emotional challenges, have the antag work as a friend or family member. The protag and antag should ALWAYS reflect one another. And like the picture above, every person -- every character reflects their past, who've they have effected, and their regrets.
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