Hey, Weren’t You Supposed To Be Sympathetic?

When I was talking last week about sympathetic antagonists, one of the disadvantages I listed was that it was easy to slip somewhere and end up with an antagonist that just doesn’t come across as sympathetic. Let’s face it, when it comes to antagonist sympathy, subjectivity is a more dangerous opponent than the protagonists. But [...]

Impractical Applications (Sympathy and Success—or Lack Thereof)

I talked earlier this week about sympathetic antagonists, and their advantages and disadvantages. I’ve seen them go a lot of different ways—success, failure, combinations of the above, all depending on what I managed to do wrong, do right, or occasionally do a little too well.
I’ve written before about my last adventure with an antagonist without [...]

The Hazards of Sympathetic Antagonists

I talked yesterday about all the cool features of sympathetic antagonists. It has to be admitted, though, that sympathetic antagonists come with their own set of inconveniences; you can’t have the good without the, well, bad. Mostly, these take the form of difficulties and complications for us; they may be cool dramatically, but they’re a [...]

The Joys of Sympathetic Antagonists

One of the character archetypes I find most interesting is the sympathetic antagonist—that living obstacle to the primary characters, whether villain, antihero, or just inconveniently motivated, who through her characterization elicits some level of sympathy from the audience. But what makes these sorts of characters so nifty, useful, and all in all effective for us?
Sympathetic [...]