• Home
  • Sessions
  • Antagonists and Antiheroes: 6 Ways to Make the Bad Better

If an antagonist is not fully realized, lacks depth, or is a caricature of evil, your novel or story suffers. This session offers six techniques for transforming an antagonist from a one-dimensional paper doll into a force to be reckoned with--and remembered: (1) Remember that antagonists are people, too; (2) Eschew the totally evil antagonist; (3) Give your antagonist a human face, even if the real "baddie" is a corporation, or organized religion. 4) Make your antagonist at least as smart, strong and capable as the protagonist. 5) Keep the tension strong when the antagonist is a friend, ally or loved one. 6) If the antagonist remains hidden for much of the story (as in a mystery), give her proxies or let her work behind the scenes. By internalizing these six tips, you can make your antagonist better than he was before. Stronger. Wilier. Worthy of making your protagonist's life a bubbling cauldron of conflict . . . and of giving readers a story experience they won't soon forget.