Tuesday, February 9
Who Hates Ya Baby? Bad Guys Who Aren't the Antagonist
Enemies. We all have them.
Not the "You killed my father, prepare to die," type, but the "Gal at work who always tries to make you look bad," type.
Characters are no different. They have enemies too, only most of the time we focus on the Big Bad Antagonist and forget that even nice people have folks who don't like them. And aren't trying to kill them. They're like, minitagonists.
Take a look at your current protagonist. They'll most likely have friends who help them throughout the story. Or have no friends at all if they're the loner type. Odds are either everyone loves them or everyone hates them, with not a whole lot of in-between, because in-between isn't nearly as much fun as the Big Bad.
But think about how much fun you can have messing with your protagonist if you give them a few folks who just flat out don't like them, but aren't doing anything to actively ruin their lives. They can be the thorn in the protagonist's side that adds just the right amount of distraction so they mess up big. Or the person who sees what the protagonist was hoping no one noticed. Or even better, the person the protagonist needs to get what they want.
Enemies can also be a great way to show the ugly side of your protagonist (and keep them from being a Mary Sue). The one person who always pushes their buttons and makes them say or do things they'd never say or do under normal circumstances. They can even push them to a revelation they might not have gotten to without an outside perspective.
Not every bad guy has to be really bad. Sometimes they can just be a pain the butt.
Who dislikes your protagonist? Is there anyone who could make their lives tougher just when they least need it?