There’s a pretty basic storytelling flaw that trips up many writers and that’s creating villains/antagonists who aren’t successful. Let’s define what I mean by successful. A successful antagonist moves the story ahead, directly challenges the protagonist, and has a better than 50% chance of success. Without a powerful antagonist, your protagonist has nothing substantial to fight against—there’s little reason to cheer for them.
3 Pillars for a Successful Antagonist
- Does the antagonist/villain directly oppose your protagonist’s main plot goal?
- Does the antagonist/villain have a head start?
- Are there aspects of the villain/antagonist we agree with or can even love?
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