Characters

I’m writing a fantasy novel.  Because OF COURSE I AM, have we met, I’m a nerd, let’s move on.  I’m very very concerned that my characters be well rounded and believable as human beings, not just flat two dimensional characters.  I’m writing scenes that I know I have no intention of using, just because it gives me an opportunity to find out who my characters are and how they would react to various situations.  But I’m super duper tempted to make my main antagonist stupid.  Not like, STUPID stupid, we’re talking about political leaders here, there’s a certain level of intelligence that all my main characters need to maintain.  But, willfully dense is more like it.  Like she dismisses people she doesn’t like because she doesn’t like them, not because they are actually less than her.  If you’ve read the Wheel of Time series, especially the later books, there’s a lot of Elaida in her; a stubborn refusal to see what she doesn’t want to see, even when her blindness is hurting her.  And I’m concerned about this willful ignorance I’ve given her.  I’m afraid I’ve only given her this bad trait because she’s my antagonist and I don’t like her as much as I like my protagonists.  Will she end up as one dimensional as I fear because of it?  I don’t want that – I want my antagonists or the characters I might not like as much to be as likable and given as much of a personality as my protagonists or the characters I do like.  This is quite the conundrum for me, as you can see. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a writing mentor, so I have to put the question to the interwebs:  Have you ever had this problem?  How did you deal with it?

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3 thoughts on “Characters

  1. I think it’s perfectly fine to have your antagonist have that flaw; all the more reason for your audience to view them as the antagonist! In order to avoid the 1-dimensional trap, figure out a few more flaws (minor would be best) and also write out some history (family life, key events) so that they’re fleshed out.
    And I hope to see some of this story posted soon! I’m also working on a fantasy-genre story at coffeestainedideas.wordpress.com, if you want to check it out. 🙂

    • Agreed; in fact, that’s a major reason why she’s doing the things that MAKE her the antagonist to begin with. I’m just realizing as I type the scenes I have completed that I’ve given her no good qualities to balance :-/

      Can’t wait to check out your story – nothing like fantasy to make me forget how much I hate my job!

  2. i love this. i like your idea to make the character dense and giving her a flaw because as said by the other comments, that’s what makes her a good antagonist and your readers will identify immediately with that. i absolutely cannot wait to read this when it’s all finished ❤

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