4

As bad as they can be - except for that last thing: You need to make your antagonist as bad as you can make them. Nothing is too slimy and scuzzy for them to do to get what they want. Except for that one thing. The one thing will be very personal and intimate to the antagonist. It will be best revealed at the climax, where the antagonist has a choice of ...


4

Looks like to want your antagonist to get redemption and turn to good. This is a relatively common theme in fiction. You need to think not just the level of badness your antagonist is going to reach, but the whole character arc for this antagonist. What are those bad things that this character is doing? Is there a relatable explanation for it? What are the ...


2

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night: Starting a story, especially a novel, is an amazingly hard thing to do. You need to give a HUGE amount of data to people without pouring it down their throats. This leads to authors writing, re-writing, and re-re-writing. I've done it. What's worse, the people who look at your novel and decide if it has what it takes typically ...


2

I would start without describing the main character or introducing them. Instead of starting with someone explaining the case, you could begin with some action and flashback to the meeting. It is usually best to introduce a character by what they do, what they say and how people react to them, rather than describing them. You could try beginning with the ...


1

In general, when you find something hard to write, it's because you're not in the habit of observing it in real life. For instance, I struggle with writing visual detail, because I'm not naturally visually observant. To help that, I try to practice visual mindfulness as much as possible. If you're not a very social person, or even if you are, but you don't ...


1

Just to add to what others have said already, it might be helpful to give the friend a reason to want to forgive the antagonist, no matter how egregious his deeds. Like they go way back to toddlerhood, have seen each other through some extraordinary event that creates a unique bond, or the friend feels they owe them a debt of gratitude.


1

These cases often boil down to one of two things: The unexpected, where even with all their meticulous planning, something unforeseen happens. If it could not reasonably have been foreseen, it doesn't harm the competence or credibility of your character. The trap-within-a-trap, where the character feigns incompetence to get themselves into a better position....


1

I recognize the dilemma from my current WIP. What I've decided, much like you, is that having characters sneaking around and being smart and cautious isn't going to work (there's a reason some advice that a protagonist should never be a coward). A novel needs drama and the best way to get it is with a confrontation of some sort. (And as you mention, ...


1

You have lots of ways to tackle this. Some are: they could interact indirectly. Having the antagonists talk amongst themselves about something done by an unknown person and how frustrated they are will let you do character development for them, without them saying things to the protagonist. The protagonist working with someone else to get set for their next ...


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