The antagonist, also known as the despicable bad guy, or the uncaring person, or the person who’s misunderstood, is one of the best parts of writing. It’s where the writer gets to mess with the main character in any way he or she pleases, as long as it stays true to the character. For us, writing the antagonist is always the most fun, however, there are a few we haven’t liked either, and we created them. A few antagonists we have even loathed.
The reason we like to write about the person or persons who oppose the good guy is, well, it’s fun. It’s fun to muddle things up for them. And let’s face it, without the antagonist in a story, it would be a dull story with no point. The antagonist is meant to help build story tension and suspense. The antagonist does everything in his or her power to oppose the good guy, even if he or she doesn’t know they’re doing it. Sometimes those are the best kinds of antagonists. The ones who don’t know they’re doing anything to the protagonist, only to find out later on.
My favorite type of antagonist is the ones who go out of the way to obstruct the protagonists path in the most horrible ways, usually because of some slight in the past, or simply there was something about that person the antagonist didn’t like. Sometimes, the antagonist isn’t a personal antagonist. Sometimes they are simply prejudiced against a species and wants to kill them all. It truly depends on the story being told.
The best thing about an antagonist in a story is they can be anything or anyone the writer needs them to be. A person. An object. Self-doubt. Just remember to have fun while writing them. I feel it makes the “bad guy” more enjoyable for the writer and the reader when the writer enjoys writing about them. When used correctly, the antagonist becomes the most driven character in the book, more so than the “good guy”. Sometimes.