1. Write down your antagonist's name? __________________________________
In Dead Witness, I have two antagonists: brothers Miguel and Vicente DeOlmos.
2. What is the most important thing to your antagonist? __________________________________________
Miguel DeOlmos honours family above all things. Vicente worships his brother and would do anything to gain his respect.
3. What does your antagonist want? ________________________________________________________
Miguel DeOlmos wants Valerie McCormick dead so that his dynasty remains intact. He believes Valerie's death protects his family and those most loyal to him. Vicente wants anyone who threats his brother's safety destroyed. He also desires that others fear him.
4. What five important moments or actions are crucial to your antagonist and must be part of your story?
First - Miguel appoints his brother in charge of eliminating Valerie so that Vincente feels a part of the family struggle to overcome this adversity. Second - He sends a man to Prince George, Canada to kill Valerie. Third - after Valerie is supposedly dead, as a precaution, Miguel sends someone to watch her family. I won't list the rest so as to not spoil the story for you if you happen to buy a copy.
But go ahead and list the five most important happenings that must stay in your story because they move your antagonist closer to obtaining his goal. If your antagonist isn't a character, there should still be 5 events that move the story forward and get in the way of your protagonist obtaining his goal. Remember: These five or more events, actions, steps must happen to move the story toward its conclusion and, in doing so, create suspense, conflict and thrills for your reader.
Donald Maass ends the chapter by suggesting that your antagonist be on an inner journey just as your protagonist is. The most successful antagonist are a mirror image of your hero. They want, they need, and they desire. They also must appear larger than life, human beings with emotions. Donald also suggests you go one step further and give them a moment of kindness, joy, happiness, or compassion. But don't forget: your antagonist should be truly frightening and don't forget evil. That might be a difficult combination to come up with, but if you do, be assured that your manuscript will be noticed.
In reference to Donald Maass' comment about needing to believe you understand the antagonist. I agree with him, though I'm not sure I want to. To admit I understand Hannibal Lecter is a disturbing thing. What does that say about me? Perhaps it's part of the requirements of being a writer: I need to see, understand and appreciate even the most evil character ever created. Can I write a convincing antagonist otherwise?
Now it's your turn, what does your antagonist want?