Antagonists, admittedly, come in many forms. Antagonists can be events, places, or even nice people who happen to be unintentionally opposing the protagonist.
Generally, my antagonists are human, and getting into the head of an evil antagonist is always the hardest part of writing a novel for me. I don’t give myself an easy out and avoid them. I believe that their story is just as important as that of my protagonist, but coming up with believable motivations for wicked characters and keeping them human is a tall order.
These characters are extremely difficult for me, and not because I’m a wonderful, good person who can think no evil thoughts. I’ve just been very fortunate in my life that I’ve always been loved by my family and friends. I think that people who harm others often have never had that kind of love or allowed themselves to feel loved.
Finding that source of rejection for person can take years of therapy. Finding that source of rejection for a fictional character can really take some rooting around in their character sketches. Then at some point in the novel, I have to give them a vulnerable moment so my reader can see them, really see them, not as an evil person, but as a normal person who has become evil through their choices and actions.
After multiple drafts, my antagonist usually gives me their vulnerable moment, but sometimes, finding that moment can be more intense than therapy.
Copyright 2009 Teresa Frohock