A is for Antagonist

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category: ,

Yes, the antagonist. The villians we love to hate (or maybe hate to love). While the antagonist (or sometimes called the conflict) isn't always a single person in a story, today that's what I'm going to talk about for the A-Z challenge.

So, how do you create your villians? I give my villians almost the same amount of attention as I do my heros. They have a full character sketch and timeline made out. I talk to them often (they seem to be nice to me..) to learn about them, their past, and what makes them tick.

Now, my villians are never evil for evil's sake. Some writers do this, and that's okay, but I prefer villians that have a "good side" to them or ones that have morals somewhere - even if they are a bit twisted. For example, the villian in my book Cleanse Fire, doesn't hurt or kill women, even though through the entire story, he's been trying to murder the hero and his friends.

Villians need to be just as three dimensional as the hero! While my villians never take over my body for chat sessions like my hero does nor do they show up on The Character Cafe to make a post, but I know them just as well as my hero. Every detail of their lives, of who they are.

What about you? Why type of villians do you like (or hate)? What sort of villians do you create in your writing?

Oh, check out my new website for The Kinir Elite from Cleanse Fire. Captain Derac Vidor is participating in the A-Z challenge too, so check out his posts! Captain's Log

20 Responses to "A is for Antagonist"

Hannah Kincade Says :
April 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

I love a good sympathetic villain but then I love the all out evil ones as well. I'm a big fan of villains in general. They are so much fun to write.

mooderino Says :
April 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I always enjoy a very polite villain, makes me like them more.

Laura Josephsen Says :
April 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I do like the villains who are more ambiguous...or if they seem to be evil for evil's sake (at least to the protagonist) they might have a deeper issue that has led them to the choices they've made.

Dawn Embers Says :
April 1, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Good post for the first day of the challenge.

I don't often remember villains after I've read the book, and even rarer will I think of them months down the road. But in general, I need to see motivation. Not a big fan of the evil for evil sake. (Though it can work on occasion.)

It would be kind of interesting to do a villain/antagonist post on the character blog. I think the only one I've written from their viewpoint before might be the clown serial killer. Maybe the epic fantasy elf one but I don't remember for sure. Mine are rarely super evil or violent, so it could probably work in a blog post. (okay, maybe not the clown serial killer since he does kill women and turn their bodies into mannequins.)

Lisa Says :
April 1, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Hi Anastasia, I really enjoyed your blog. As a mystery reader I personally like the multifaceted villians who are often misunderstood. Still evil but usually some background there.

You are 3 above me on the list and part of my commitment to commenting every day. Look forward to stopping by.

Inspired By Lisa A-Z

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 1, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Hannah: Yes, the sure are fun to write. I love them and try to incorporate scenes from their POV into my books if I can.

Mooderino: Yes! It can also make them more able to get the good guys to join their side, if they seem to be "good" at least at first!

Dawn: I can remember a villian, depending on the book. I don't usually remember the ones that are evil for evil's sake, but if they have a full history and what not that made them the bad guy, I'm more apt to remember them since to me they seem more like a real person.

Lisa: I'm the same way. In my fantasy writing I try to blur the lines between good and evil. Make the reader ask what really is good and evil anyway? Like the heros in my story kill the enemy in order to save the innocent - but killing is bad right? So are they really good all the way around? :) Thanks for stopping by!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ Says :
April 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I agree, the most interesting antagonists are those that have multi-faceted personalities with both good and bad qualities. My favorite antags are the ones whose stakes are equally high and universally important as those of the protag.

Great first A-Z entry!

Charlene A. Wilson Says :
April 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM

I like villans with more personality than just being evil, myself. Great post, Ana.

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 1, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Nicole: I totally agree. It makes the suspense that much more...suspenseful!

Charlene: I do too. But the evil for evil's sake do serve a purpose sometimes, I just don't have them in my own stories. Thanks!

Jen Daiker Says :
April 1, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Villians are very important. Sometimes just as important if not MORE important to complete the story!


I'm stopping in to welcome you to the challenge!!! I'm a co-host, if you have questions don't hesitate to ask!

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 1, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Jen: Yes they are! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Hope Says :
April 1, 2011 at 6:12 PM

what a wonderful way to start off the challenge.

I like hero's, heroine's and villians with full characters

thank you for visiting my blog
and good luck to you!

Trisha Says :
April 1, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Antagonists are soooo fun! :) I don't really have a way for creating them. they just happen!

Elizabeth Mueller Says :
April 2, 2011 at 12:44 AM

As always, Ana, you write a fantastic post! I find when villains are all powerful and come up on top. Or maybe all the way evil without a redeeming quality. :)

♥.•*¨ A-Z buddy ¨*•.♥

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 2, 2011 at 2:12 AM

Hope: Thanks for stopping by! I always want my characters to be fully 3-dimensional, including my villians. It makes the story so much better!

Trisha: Yes they are! They usually just happen for me too, I just make sure to write down their details in a character sketch so I don't forget later.

Elizabeth: Thanks! I love your comments and posts too!

Slloyd14 Says :
April 2, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I also love villains which is why my April A to Z is all about them.

I agree that a good villain needs to be three dimensional. I like villains who actually cause problems for characters you care about and are really hard to overcome and get away at the last minute a few times, so that you really want them to get their comeuppance.

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 2, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Slloyd: A whole month of villians?! Awesome. I'll definitely have to stop by your blog to check that out. Thanks for commenting!

L.G.Smith Says :
April 3, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Hi. New follower here by way of the A to Z.

I blogged about the bad guy for "B" yesterday with much of the same advice. I prefer a well-rounded villain.

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
April 3, 2011 at 4:09 PM

L.G.: B for Bad Guy is a good one! A well rounded villian is the best kind I think. Makes them more real and believable in my opinion. Thanks for following and commenting!

Anonymous Says :
April 4, 2011 at 12:17 AM

I did A for Antagonist, and it is fun to read someone who chose the same word. To me, an antagonist could be anybody, but depending on the genre, readers expect them to behave in a certain way...

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