SF Benson  

The Characters You Love To Hate


I’m wrapping up my series on favorite characters. Today, I’ll talk about antagonists.

First off, not every character in opposition to your main character is a bad guy. Sometimes, they exist simply to prevent your character from reaching their goal. There are five types of antagonists:


1. The malevolent villain. 

This character is motivated by evil either partially or entirely. Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello (one of my favorites) is one. Hannibal Lector would be another. 


2. The ally-antagonist. 


One of my favorites appears in Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses. The character Rhysand appears to be an adversary in much of the story, but then he takes on a surprising (and sexy) ally role.

3. The interfering authority figure.

This character creates challenges and complications for your protagonist. I’ll admit that this isn’t a fave for me. When I searched online for information, I had a tough time. I did find an article that mentioned the mother in Nicholas Sparks’ novel, The Notebook. The mother was controlling and was a bit of a snob. She hid her daughter’s love letters.

4. The force of nature.

This character doesn’t require any motivation. The shark in Jaws would fit this role. Technically, anything—it doesn’t have to be living—can create a challenge or a conflict for your character. Horror novels do a great job with this—the house that’s haunted, the woods that attack, etc.

5. The inner saboteur.

This one would be my hands-down favorite. Instead of the main character struggling against something or someone externally, he or she is fighting an interior battle. Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne character typifies this character. He’s fighting his adversaries while dealing with his own inner issues.

And that concludes my look at the different types of characters. Tell me, what are your favorite antagonists?

Leave A Comment