I read this terrific article yesterday and the topic was “Should You Ever Redeem Your Bad Guys” (read it here: http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/07/should-you-ever-redeem-your-bad-guys.html). It got me thinking about some of my favorite “baddies”.
They include Dracula, Professor Moriarty, Tom Buchanon,
Claudius, Iago, Darth Vader, Voldemort, Sauron and many others.
One of my favorites is Darth Vader. The reason for this is simple. He is the ultimate baddie because he is tortured from his past and yet doesn’t think twice about killing his offspring. It just sends shivers down my back. He gets my crown for “Ultimate Baddie”!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I like my baddies to have a dark past and to feel a little pity. But it doesn’t mean that I want to cuddle with him and watch movies together. Ewww! I like my baddies BAD! Here is a classic one:
For those of you who are not familiar, that is The Master from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (THE best show ever to be on television!!!). He is a classic example of a true bad baddie. He is the head vampire and he does not care one whit about the Slayer (except to drink her blood). He is bad and I love it!
In my book, I have a baddie who is bad and would love nothing more than to destroy Mary. He is bad and there is no tormented background or fluffy feelings where he is concerned. He is bad and I wonder if he will succeed one day.
What works for me may not work for you. The whole purpose of the Antagonist is to be the complete opposite of the Protagonist. If you make your Antagonist good in many ways, then your audience will be rooting for them and not your Protagonist. If you want your audience to root for your Antagonist, then maybe you should consider switching roles and have your Antagonist be your Protagonist.
So whether you are like me and make your Antagonist the ultimate baddie or choose to have him be more appealing, be sure that the conflict is still firmly in place. It is that conflict that makes a book so exciting! :-)