I truly enjoy creating the antagonist — the “bad guy.” The development of the character is usually centered on all the negatives that I’ve encountered or experienced in everyday life. As a very simple example, do any of you get upset at other drivers when driving? I assume there are a few of you. Here’s another example. Does anyone have concerns about politicians? More significantly, what about a person in a position of power who will abuse that position at the detriment of others? Or how about the rich and influential who will harm and even kill in order to better their position in business or society?
Whatever I dislike, I take and create a character that possesses those attributes. I enjoy the process, because at the end of the story I get to deal with them in a manner that justifies their crime. Where else do we get the opportunity to do that? When we’re upset at politicians we can only shout out in anger. If a madman is on the loose, we pray that he won’t come in contact with us. In fact, if any horrendous situation is present, we run and hide if we can. But as an author, I can deal with all the human unpleasantries as I see fit!
When I first started writing, I was told to make sure that I took care of the bad guy in a manner that would satisfy the reader, since they’re usually looking for a justified outcome to the bad guy’s evilness. I believe I’ve done that in my novels, although I try not to over exaggerate the ending to the bad guy’s reign, and try to keep it in the context of the story for purposes of realism. But I do enjoy creating these types of characters. I can let out all my hidden angers as I create the character, sometimes even drawing on my own personal attributes that I’m not so proud of. Oops, I just gave away a secret.
Anyway, bad guys are fun to create. I can go places inside their minds that often scare me, sometimes wondering how I came up with the idea. I justify it all by knowing it is part of creating a suspenseful plot with a character that the readers will truly hate and, therefore, side with the protagonist in hopes that the bad guy will be taken care of properly.
So let’s hear it for the bad guy. Hip hip, hooray!