How Do You Develop A Believable Antagonist For A Fiction Novel?

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The villain of any story is as critical as the hero is. Consequently, creating a well developed and believable antagonist is essential for crafting a tale worth reading. How does a writer succeed in accomplishing this? Devote time to develop the villain. A writer will find it difficult to generate a convincing antagonist if she or he spends little time crafting the villain. The antagonist needs to be as three-dimensional as the hero or readers will lose interest quickly, which requires a writer to spend an equal amount of time constructing the antagonist's motivations, history, strengths and frailties. Establish clear motivations for the antagonist. People, generally, don't just wake up and say "hey, I'm gonna be bad today." Villains in books don't either. Writers need to provide readers with an understanding of what motivates the antagonist to commit "evil" acts. Is the antagonist acting out of a need for revenge, or is the antagonist suffering from a mental disorder? Readers want ... more
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