Agents of Evil
Every great story has a villain. A character who drives your main character crazy and prevents him/her from reaching their goal.
A great novel has tension on every page, and the antagonists’ strengths are stronger than the protagonist. There’s no fun in reading a story with a stupid criminal. Ramp up the conflict, create tension in every scene.
Below is a thought-provoking list of the types of antagonists, based on my notes from a writing workshop I attended at the WTAMU Writers Academy several years ago:
Accidental Villian–fatal flaw, does not set out to be bad, bitterly regrets the act of villainy, the evil acts keep snowballing.
Examined Villian–intends to sin, plans crime carefully and meticulously, criminals always have a good reason, criminals rationalize their behavior because what they do makes perfect sense to them.
Surprise Villian– introduced sympathetically and later it is revealed that this person is evil.
Over the Top Villian — untextured bad guy, not realistic as found in the form of comic book characters, their sole purpose is to make things difficult for the good guys, quircky, different, extreme.
Mundane Criminal — not larger than life, but wrong for their own advantage.
Now go write a character profile about a very bad person for your next story.