Unlikeable characters can be such fun to write – just as many actors proclaim that a villain is more fun to play than a straight character.
I find the darker side of me revels in making the antagonist spoil the plans of the protagonist, and say things no one else can say. They can spill poison in the minds of other characters, and even be too-faced, which can aggravate the reader as they can see both sides.
We all know unlikeable people in our own spheres, and we can use that knowledge to look at how they make us feel and how we respond or react to them. Do they bring out the worse in us, which in turn makes us feel bad or guilty.
Heinous crimes carried out by individuals are mentioned in the news daily.How do they affect the community or world around them? What kind of conflicts do they give birth too?
A novel would be rather dull if the protagonist never came across someone who treated them badly, or set obstacle’s in the way. There needs to be some form of tension and conflict in order for the reader to be rooting for the protagonist. I see the conflict as an arch throughout the novel, where it peeks to cause the most damage to the protagonist, but then is resolved in numerous ways, such as death, being incarcerated or seeing the light, for example.
I recognise that in my current WIP, I’m lacking some form of conflict part way through, so I’m going to remedy that by heeding my own words and stirring up trouble for my protagonist – poor thing.
Happy Word Flow One & ALL.