Creating a Formidable Antagonist

As important to creating compelling stories as it is to focus on the protagonist, it’s equally (possibly even more important) to create formidable conflict for the hero. Without challenges to overcome–challenges worthy of our heroine’s mettle–an audience may quickly become disinterested. I mean, wouldn’t you?

After all, stories represent pivotal points in people’s lives, times of great personal change and/or accomplishment. Our attention tends to breeze by the moments of our lives spent washing dishes or putting gas in the car and, instead, …

“More on Villians” on What It’s Like

Lisa Klink over at What It’s Like posts about the perils of over-explaining your villain’s motivations.

Generally, attempts to explain why a bad guy went bad turn out to be oversimplified and unsatisfying.

My general advice here is that if you’re creating an extreme villain (like Hannibal, the Joker or Anton Chigurh), don’t feel obliged to explain their psychosis – it may backfire on you. Let them be like the shark – a force of nature no one can truly understand.

She’s right …