The Most Common Mistakes That Writers Make While Constructing Their Antagonist

Writing a novel is a lot of work. There are many factors you have to consider, but the construction of characters is the most important task. A well-defined character helps the reader to emotionally connect with them and be invested in the story.

As a writer, you should give importance to the character construction of the antagonist as much as the protagonist. A good antagonist is portrayed as the silent hero of the story who is right in their way.

If the character of an antagonist is precisely constructed, the story is likely to be a hit among readers. However, many writers make some common mistakes while constructing the character.

Top 8 Common Mistakes in Constructing an Antagonist 

For starters, the writers will either make the character too cruel or too unrealistic. Here, we have provided some of the necessary pointers and assisted in how to outline a novel the right way.

  1. Less Motivation 

Most of the time, writers do not explain the roles of the villain. For example, if a villain is doing something, writers hardly bother to explain why they are doing so. Now there can be two reasons behind it.

One, the writer is creating suspense for the readers. Two, the writer does not know the role of the villain.

The second scenario can certainly be a mistake. That’s because if the readers don’t know the reason behind the evil deeds of an antagonist, the story might sound a bit incomplete.

So, if you are planning to write a book, make sure that the antagonist characters are precisely known. In addition to that, make sure that you have the motivation to execute the characters accurately.

  1. Make Them The Hero of Their Own Story 

When we hear the term antagonist, all our mind signifies is that the person is a villain and they have too many negative and wicked intentions. However, every villain is a hero in their own story.

Thus, do not limit your antagonist character to negativity only. Try to explain their side of the story as well.

Let the readers know what happened in their earlier life that evolved the character in such a manner. That’s because the person doing such deeds is correct from their perception. As a writer, you have to explain why that is so. Now, moving on to the next point.

  1. Leadership Qualities 

Gone are the days when leads with good traits had all the fans following. Nowadays, a protagonist has an equal fan following. However, the writers have to construct a character with all the leadership qualities that make them popular among followers and readers.

Readers should be able to comprehend the power and traits of the antagonist. So yes, it is necessary to construct an antagonist character that is comparatively savage in the role.

  1. Simple Plan 

Following that, the plan organized by these villains should be simple. When we talk about villains mostly, plans involve lots of tricks, turns, and complexities. While there is no problem in such entities, it’s best to make a simple and effective plan.

As a writer, do not try to input unnecessary plots within the story of the antagonist. That’s because the circumstances are quite unreasonable in real life. However, if the story calls for it, then there are certainly no issues in such a scenario.

  1. Do Not Write a Weak Protagonist 

In addition to that, make sure that the protagonist is not just some random undeserving person with everything in their hand. You might have seen numerous antagonists who hardly have any trait but rule a tech giant or something like that.

Honestly, it does not make any sense. How is that even possible?

Thus, as a writer, you need to give some credibility to the protagonist that signifies how they become so successful in life. It then helps the readers to understand the character and its evolution precisely.

  1. The Character Should Make Sense 

There are numerous stories where the antagonist’s role is not constructed correctly. When we say that, we mean those characters who keep killing people for no obvious reason. Now, villains are supposed to be cruel. We get that.

But killing people for no reason is pretty boring and lame. Thus, as a writer, you have to construct an antagonist character that makes sense. A boring character makes the story lame and bland for the readers.

  1. Unnecessary Killing 

There is always this antagonist who kills people unnecessarily. It’s not always important to add murders that don’t make sense.

You will mostly notice that the antagonist killed henchmen because he was furious about something. Well, that just sounds lame and not very appealing to the audience.

Killing a character without any reason, just to show how wicked the character of an antagonist is, doesn’t make any sense. So, it is best to avoid such deaths in the story. Not only does it look unnecessary, but it also hampers the characters of the stories.

  1. Unnecessary Weapons 

What’s the use of adding unnecessary weapons in the story if it does not have an essential role? It’s best to eliminate unnecessary adding of weapons in the story.

However, if it has any significant role in the story, then it’s fine. But just to show the power of the antagonist, it is not a very great idea to add unnecessary weapons to the story.

Thus, we would suggest you focus more on the character role of the antagonist instead of adding unnecessary entities like weapons or murders. Your character should spare for its role, and there should be no irrelevant factors overpowering it. All this can produce a lame and boring effect on the readers.


To summarize, these were some of the points to consider when constructing the character of an antagonist. Whenever you ask yourself how to write a fantasy novel, make sure to add these points to the antagonist character. From the above points, it is clear that each of these characters needs to have all the relevant factors for a better approach to a story.

As an antagonist, the role needs to be interesting and not just cruel or torturous. Of course, those factors are necessary as well, but make sure that the role does not limit you to the same. We hope you get an efficient idea regarding all the important factors for antagonist character construction from our readers.