In the mystery genre, two characters drive the story—and they both must be equally believable. TWA’s Harrison Demchick recently addressed this challenge in his article, “Writing a Convincing Culprit.” As a guest posting on Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog, he reminds us that a convincing antagonist is at the core of every great mystery.
A common mistake that authors make when they start writing mystery is the misconception that the story belongs to and develops around the protagonist, as it does in most fiction. In mystery, the opposite is true: The antagonist’s story is the foundation on which the novel stands.
Through a series of questions and answers, Harrison advises readers on the best way to keep a culprit from becoming an author’s tool rather than a fully developed character.
While the post focuses on mystery, the idea of a fully developed and believable antagonist is relevant to all writers, so check out Harrison’s post! The comments are always open and we embrace a lively discussion. Thank you to Elizabeth S. Craig for hosting Harrison!
Harrison Demchick came up in the world of small press publishing, working along the way on more than two dozen published novels and memoirs, several of which have been optioned for film. He is an award-winning, twice-optioned screenwriter, and the author of literary horror novel The Listeners. He’s part of The Writer’s Ally team as a developmental editor of fiction and memoir, for which he’s currently accepting new clients.