Writing Prompt – Creating a Well Rounded Villian

I was thinking about the antagonist today and how he/she has to be human, have human characteristics (unless of course it is a sci-fi/fantasy) in other words typically no one is completely evil, there are always shades of grey, some good qualities and some bad. Only in the antagonist it is usually more bad, or at least it is for the protagonist.

In the online Free Dictionary:

an·tag·o·nist  (n-tg-nst)


1. One who opposes and contends against another; an adversary.
2. The principal character in opposition to the protagonist or hero of a narrative or drama.

Writing Prompt:

Your challenge, if you so choose to accept it, is to write an outline for your antagonist giving him human qualities, what makes him normal, average, likable, maybe even charming and the qualities that are creating the opposition for your hero/protagonist. Can you make him so human that we feel for him too? I recently watched Now You See Me the movie and the thing that I really noticed was I wasn’t sure who I wanted to win; both the supposed good guys and the supposed bad guys I could feel for.

Word Prompt: Adversary

Some of the best stories I have read or watched on television or on the big screen, I have felt conflicted about wanting to like him/her or wanting to not like. One instance comes to mind is on NCIS. For those that don’t watch it, there used to be a character named Kate. She worked with NCIS and she was a lovable character. Ari (the bad guy) came along and even the character Kate wanted to like him. We knew he was bad but he was very charming and part of me I guess was hoping that somehow it would work out until he killed Kate. He was definitely a bad guy.

I look forward to reading what you come up with.

Share your thoughts in the comments below, does this kind of prompt help you and your writing?

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About MDragonwillow 95 Articles
Morgan Dragonwillow: Poet , author of Wild Woman Waking & Dancing within Shadow, massage therapist and facilitator of magical journeys who (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. When she isn't working with clients, writing or dancing you can find her encouraging and supporting her writing community at #StoryDam#OctPoWriMo, & #PoetsonthePage You can also find her on Google+