Help! I Fell In Love With My Antagonist

Help! I Fell In Love With My Antagonist

In this post, we look at what you can do if you fall in love with your antagonist.

Help! I Fell In Love With My Antagonist

You’ve started spending too much time with your antagonist – writing all of their scenes and being way too sympathetic to them. What can you do?

1. You Can Turn Them Into Anti-Heroes

The anti-hero is ‘a central character in a story, film, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes’.  These missing attributes include idealism, courage, and morality. Anti-heroes can sometimes do the right thing, but it is usually because it serves their interests to do so. From Heroes And Anti-Heroes – What’s The Difference?

Remember that they still need some redeeming qualities for readers to care about them and what happens in the story.

Read: 9 Ways To Make Readers Care For An Amoral Protagonist

2. You Can Pull Them Back In Line

Be brave. Stand up to them and remind them what their role is in the story. Their job is to create conflict with the protagonist.

Read: The Antagonist As A Literary Device

Once they get put in their place, you can still love them, but you can also remember they have a job to do. Their goal is to try to prevent the protagonist from reaching their story goal.

3. You Can Try Rekindling Your Romance With The Protagonist

Have you turned your protagonists into passive characters? Do they observe, judge, think, and talk about doing things instead of doing them? There is nothing worse than a protagonist who doesn’t react in a tangible way to the things that are happening to them.

Remember that readers like your characters to act. This is why setting up a tangible story goal at the beginning of the book is a great idea. It gives your protagonists something to do.

Make sure they have other people to interact with.

Read: The Protagonist As A Literary Device

‘One of the most-common mistakes that beginning writers make is leaving their characters alone. Writing, you may be alone. Reading, your audience may be alone. But your character should spend very, very little time alone. Because a solitary character starts thinking or worrying or wondering.’ ~Chuck Palahniuk

Read: The Challenge Of Writing A Passive Lead Character

4. Make Your Protagonists As Interesting As Your Antagonists

Make your protagonist’s story goal even stronger than the antagonist’s. You can do this by defining the antagonist first and then working out what your protagonist will have to do to win.

Read: How To Use Your Antagonist To Define Your Story Goal.

The Last Word

Remember that you can fall in love with your antagonist, but you can’t let that stop you writing your story.

Interested in more posts on antagonists? Try these:

  1. The Antagonist As A Literary Device
  2. Use These 7 Gaslighting Phrases To Make Your Antagonist More Manipulative
  3. Use The 7 Deadly Sins To Strengthen Your Antagonist’s Motives
  4. The Least You Should Know About Your Protagonist And Antagonist
  5. 7 Deadly Rules For Creating A Villain

Top Tip: Use our Character Creation Kit to create great characters for your stories.

by Amanda Patterson
© Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 14th April 2022