Evil is the habit of taking pleasure in harming others. Evil can be ignorant. That is, to have such high status that the character ignores everyone around him. Evil likes to be seen as clever. There will always be conflict between characters when they are vying to be the most clever in the class. For [...]
Alfred Hitchcock said that the more powerful your antagonist, the more complex and dangerous the situation, the harder your protagonist must work to overcome it. As you ratchet up the villain's power, the energy rises. In almost every case a well-defined antagonist gives power to the story.
Well-intentioned antagonists are more interesting than black villains. On the simplest level, stories that contain villains are usually stories about good and evil. Usually the protagonist stands for the good, and the villain opposes the good. Most villains are action-oriented. They steal, kill, betray, wound, and work against the good. Many of them begin to [...]
Keep the main antagonistic off centre stage. His physical presence should be rare and reserved for climatic scenes of confrontation. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Count seems more fearsome by his absence. Remember: the more we know a character, the less they frighten us.