Monday, April 3, 2017

A to Z: Bad Guys

2017 THEME: Editing Fiction (Because that's what I'm in the middle of doing.)

What is the Blogging from A to Z challenge and where can I find more participants? Right here.

Bad Guys

Yes, if we're being official we'd call them Antagonists, but we covered A.

We agonize over our protagonist, making sure readers like them, that they have good motivations, and that their character arc is sound. Don't neglect to do the same for you bad guys (This is killing me, can we just call them antagonists and pretend we're going with B? Yes, I think we can.)

Having a well rounded antagonist can really set the story apart and make your protagonist shine even brighter. There is definitely something to having a worthy opponent. One of my favorite conundrums is realizing that the antagonist has a valid point and motivation, but is only in the wrong because we're steered toward cheering for the protagonist. Seeing both sides of the conflict makes for a rich story.

Take the time to get to know your antagonist and give them a solid soap box to stand on while they set forth in their quest for world domination. Your story will thank you for it.

Have you ever read a story and found yourself liking the antagonist more than the protagonist?


  1. Hi Jean - I'm sure I have ... but I can't remember any! We all have different takes on things don't we ... cheers Hilary

  2. I definitely have found myself rooting for the 'bad guy' on more than one occasion! Sometimes I feel like the writer wanted me to, though!

  3. I love that you agonized over having to use ´bad guy´ instead of antagonist :) I do enjoy reading books where I find myself rooting for the ´bad guy´ over the ´good guy.´

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador

  4. I love opposition in the story where antagonist and protagonist have to face each other in their dramas. Good choice for B thank you!

  5. Not read that I remember, but definitely seen - I know I wasn't the only one cheering for Loki in the MCU ;) A good bad guy is definitely a great plus.
    Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

  6. In my mystery stories, I often have more than one antagonist and I try to keep the main one a secret until near the end. Guess that comes with whodunit mysteries!

    DB McNicol, author & traveler
    Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

  7. We are writers. That gives us license to rename stuff. I'm all for 'bad guys'!

  8. I'm a sucker for bad guys and often try and find something to redeem them even when they're totally unredeemable. Great post.
    Pamela @ Highlands Days of Fun

  9. A rose by any other name is still a rose, and a Bad-ass Dude is still an antagonist. I cannot think of a single example where I cheered the antagonist more than the protagonist. I like when they both have flaws, of course, but I still find myself rooting for the good guy.

    This is gonna be a fun month. Of course, I get murdered every day, but it's still gonna be fun.

  10. This is so important, I agree! My favorite "bad boy" has always been Draco Malfoy, of course, and I love reading fanfic where he's given more page time and is shown to be damaged but redeemable. :)
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons Blog | AtoZ 2017 - Dragons in Our Fandoms

  11. An important reminder that the "bad guy" has to be just as richly developed as the goodie, perhaps even more so.

  12. I'm not that far along with my writing. But it does make sense that you need to spend some time with your bad guy/gal.

    Hey, It's Ann visiting from A to Z So Much to Choose From and
    Science Ladybug

  13. I absolutely AGREE! If the Bad Guy/ antagonist is weakly written, the story kind of falls flat! The excitement comes from the G/A! 1 of my favorites was the antagonist in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series, where 'who' the antagonist was, was revealed in the 12 or 13th book of the series - and we were hooked, and waiting to know WHO he was & HIS STORY! So, that's the power of the Antagonist :)
    This is a good post, btw :)
    "*Ishieta @ Isheeria's*

    AtoZofHealing - B is Bach Flower Therapy"


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