Look beyond your main character.


It’s not just the hero’s story that must be fulfilled in order to leave readers satisfied. Villains and secondary characters must also overcome large or multiple challenges and do so in unusual ways. Like your protagonist, they require emotional depth.

Developing Antagonists Fully

The most interesting villains are right about something, have something to say that’s important, and undertake a journey of their own. Have you created a worthy match for your protagonist? Is this character as complex and surprising as your main character?

If not, try these questions: What’s your antagonist’s unique point of view? Does this antagonist in some way make your protagonist better? What really matters to this character that he can’t let go? How is he altered in some way by the end of the book?

Go back and do a villain draft. Imagine it is her story. Even if she isn’t present in every scene, she should play an integral role throughout. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a character who can match your protagonist every step of the way.

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