The Reasoning of Antagonists

Getting into the minds of antagonists is not always easy for me. And right now is no exception.

I have characters who believe they are right, and justified in what they are doing. Is it that they cannot see (or refuse to see) that is it causing harm to [spoilers], or do they think the “greater good” is sufficient reason to allow the harm their actions are creating?

And unfortunately, these antagonists do not like to talk to me for some reason.


So question – do other writers have this trouble as well?



2 thoughts on “The Reasoning of Antagonists

  1. Hey LS, my main problem is that I just don’t like my antagonists. I just barely believe in them at all! So they often come off a bit stereotypical, but I think the epic fantasy genre provides me some cover for that.
    In my world, the Children of Despair are way beyond “normal” criminals. There’s a whole world of evil kingdoms, or at least there once was, filled with an ethos opposed to that of Hope. Whereas Hope supports the common weal (liberty for all, equal opportunity, something like that), Despair promulgates the idea that the powerful deserve the rewards and the poor (usually the vast majority) DESERVE to suffer. The kicker is that even the poor believe this; a Despairing Kingdom would be like an enormous abusive relationship!
    So I guess your villains need their own world view, which you probably have to bury 90% of, but still need to know to support their actions, statements, responses.
    The number of antagonists in my tales who can be redeemed approaches zero. Do you have villains who can stage a comback?


    • I have some unredeemable villains in my stories, but many of the antagonists merely have that different worldview you mention. I try to see their viewpoint so as to make them believable and not fall into stereotypes. Some might be persuaded to change their minds, some won’t. I have a few antagonists who will be making comebacks in both series, somewhere down the line. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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