by Cate Baum
By now you’ve probably noticed that I have a thing for the well-written antihero (aka villain, antagonist, bad guy/girl, etc.). I promise it’s not a manifestation of my secret darker side. It’s no secret that I have a darker side. 😉
I’d never paid much attention to villains until I tried to write a story that required a strong villain. That’s when it clicked how important it is to create an antagonist who is worthy, and sometimes more so, of the protagonist of the story. Since having my epiphany, I’ve paid close attention to villains on television, in books and movies, and pretty much anywhere an antihero is available for close study. Villains are fun to write. Why? Because they live life by their own set of rules, regardless of the mask they hide behind. And it allows the author to do those things we mere mortals wish we could do but aren’t willing to suffer the consequences for in the real world.
But writing a villain or antihero goes beyond simply living out your secret fantasy to dominate the world. John Rogers sums up how to write your antagonist with a handy little quote.
”You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.” ~John Rogers
A few weeks ago, I came across a great article, “Writing The Antihero (And Why So Many Authors Get It Wrong)” by Cate Baum, on the Self-Publishing Review website. Baum nails her assessment of why so many writers struggle with writing antagonists and how to do a better job at it. So check out her article and let’s create memorable villains! It’s probably the closest to world domination I’ll ever get, but don’t tell my daughter. She’s still making plans to rule the world.
Now… go write something!