For SF&F Writers. Building Believable Worlds Part 4: Antagonists and Enemies

Notes From The Slush Pile

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Lets talk bad guys. Most stories have one. Well crafted or otherwise, speculative fiction is full of them. Not that any one actual character is essential as the obstacle the protagonist has to overcome. Sometimes its simply the environment they’re in, other times its a whole alien species in the vein of StarshipTroopers or Ender’s Game. Maybe the story is more reflective, and the protagonist is on a voyage of self-discovery in which the only real obstacle to them achieving their goal is themselves.

While reading for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, I’ve come across all of the above, and they each have their own merits and drawbacks. The main trade off I’ve found with stories of these types is that they tend to be able to bring forth more intellectually complex and morally ambiguous plot development than the simple good vs. evil narrative, but in doing so…

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