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Figuring out how to create a mysterious antagonist is a huge factor and skill that a writer must know in their pursuit of writing a great psychological thriller.

Being the author of The Calo Chronicles: Hunted, Eugenia R. Fowles knows how time-consuming and difficult the process can be. However, if she had not gone through it, then readers wouldn’t have been able to read a compelling story. Eugenia made sure that her book would showcase her writing prowess, and she undoubtedly delivered.

With that in mind, today, we’d like to share the tips we’ve gathered to help any writer create their own mysterious and compelling villain!

1. Establishing a Relationship With the Victim

Think about the ties that bind your victim and villain as you craft the mystery’s central conflict. The foundation of your story’s profundity may lie in the dynamics of this relationship, which will drive the crime to occur.

Had they been friends before becoming enemies? Business partners caught in an intricate web of dishonesty? Or possibly estranged relatives whose past is a labyrinth of unanswered grievances?

It is your job to create a tapestry that depicts a complicated relationship full of conflict and stress. Examine the depth of previous experiences that your antagonist and the victim have shared. A bitter betrayal, a smoldering rivalry, or an unpaid debt can eventually cause resentment to turn into action.

2. Build the Villain’s Emotional and Mental Makeup

Put yourself in the position of your enigmatic villain and see the world from their perspective. Every choice and action they make is motivated by a complicated network of goals, anxieties, and desires inside of them.

Your antagonist is a person whose perverted morality and unwavering pursuit of their objectives drive them to commit the unimaginable, not just a caricature of evil. Examine them from a perspective that reveals their true nature: are they motivated by instability that distorts their reality, or do they operate out of a need for vengeance, fortune, or power?

Like a painter, use a color scheme that combines the darker shades of humanity with the softer tones to paint your villain. Your villain shouldn’t fit cleanly into a “good” or “evil” category since people rarely do. Create a character with depth and vulnerability so the reader can empathize with and possibly even understand them.

This is a very important step when learning how to create a mysterious antagonist. The Calo Chronicles: Hunted has such antagonists, and the characters in them aren’t even sure why these villains are doing such heinous crimes to them. You can also use this tip when writing an intimidating antagonist for the tale you’re crafting.

3. Reveal What Triggered the Antagonist to Commit Their Crimes

Consider your antagonist’s existence as a series of incidents—a chronology in which every occurrence strains the fabric of their calmness. Next, determine the exact moment the string broke. What was the last straw that the camel could withstand?

Find that turning point, whether it resulted from a scandal that damaged their reputation, a betrayal of trust, or a failed business transaction. This must be a momentous enough occasion to tip the villain over the edge and force them into criminal activity. Give this scene meticulous attention to detail since it’s more than just a plot point—it’s the beginning of the antagonist’s journey in your novel.

Use What You’ve Learned on How to Create a Mysterious Antagonist Today

The way your enemy is portrayed matters just as much to the suspense of your story as your detective’s guile. Make them carefully. Give them the care and respect that they receive, and watch them come to life within the pages of your story.

While you’re at it, read The Calo Chronicles: Hunted by Eugenia R. Fowles and take notes from her antagonists. Visit her website at and grab a copy of the book today.

If you’re not too busy, we suggest reading our other articles to discover the awesome benefits of psychological thrillers!