Today’s video is the third in the character series, and it discusses how to craft a compelling antagonist. Here’s a quick summary. There are three basic things you need to do for antagonists:

  1. Demonstrate their power. Whether your antagonist is a killer shark or an enemy general, you need to showcase why the hero should be terrified of them.
  2. Explain their motivation. Why is your antagonist doing what they’re doing? Sharks need to eat. The enemy general may believe your protagonist’s nation needs to be cleansed from the earth because they are an affront to his god. Whatever the motivation is, make sure the reader understands it clearly. This will help them understand the villain, even as they come to hate them.
  3. (Optional) Give them a Character Arc. Most great antagonists have a character arc. They change and grow over the course of a book (or series). The example Chris uses in the video is Darth Vader, but you can apply it to almost any memorable antagonist. How about Loki from The Avengers? The next time you watch Thor 2, consider how he changes by the end.

For more details and further explanation, check out the video below!

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How to Write Great Antagonists
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  • Well done videos! All together too often we tend to make the antagonist so shallow and without the character growth we look forward to in the protag. The example of power is a really good way to start off. Thanks.


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