How do you create the antagonists for your stories?
On one of my latest drafts of a story, I’m realizing that the antagonist spends most of her time hiding in the background. There’s one, maybe two, scenes that actually give readers a peek as to who she is and what she’s doing… I mean, I know what she’s doing and why she’s doing it, so I guess that’s a good thing as the writer.
Not many antagonists these days are villains just for the fun of it (although that would be an interesting challenge, wouldn’t it?). They need motivations just as the protagonists do, while probably also believing that they are in the right. Generally, they are seen as the foil to the protagonist, the opposite in ideals and actions. Alternatively, they could be seen as very similar to the protagonist — had the protagonist made one small change, taken a different road just that one time, and they themselves may have turned into the antagonist.
So how do villains crop up in your stories? Do you start with the protagonist and figure out how to best create someone to oppose them? Or maybe you start off with the problematic child and craft your hero around them? Maybe one of your protagonist’s best friends just happens to naturally evolve into the antagonist, or your protagonist themselves become their own worst enemy.
It’s definitely an interesting process, and it makes me wonder what’s up with my brain for creating such characters…