I tried to research this but I didn’t find anything helpful. How do a write a „puppet“ antagonist? A character who seems like the antagonist but is actually working for someone else?

18. Mai 2016 Schreiben lernen



How they behave depends on a few things:

  • What is their moral compass? A character who doesn’t care about hurting others will be relentless and they’ll do anything to reach their goal. A character who has their own rules or who has specific instructions/guidelines from their employer will probably want to abide by them, unless they don’t care about what their employer says.
  • What is their relationship with their employer? This has an effect on the first point. If they’re just for hire then their motivation is money (or something else they want) and there will probably be an agreement between them and their employer. This might include not doing certain things to reach the goal or it might just be “get the job down however you want”. If they’re being forced into it, like if they were blackmailed, they’ll probably be more careful about doing the job right. If they’re an ally/loyal to their employer, reaching the goal might be out of loyalty or because they truly believe in what they’re doing.
  • Furthermore, what happens if they get caught? Will they simply give up their employer if it means they can walk away free? Someone who is just doing it for the money might be likely to do so if doing that will be beneficial to them.
  • What is the job? What they actually have to do might be super specific with no negotiation, or it might be more vague, thus allowing the character to get creative. If they have a vague goal, it’s less likely they’ll stick around to cause more damage once they’ve done enough to complete the goal. Someone who has specific instructions will probably be more cautious and they might have a plan/backup plan to get everything done.
  • Why them? Why is this person doing the work for the actual antagonist? Is it considered “dirty work”? Is it something the boss doesn’t have time for/thinks is below them? Or do they want to remain anonymous? Do they not have the proper skills? Does the puppet antagonist openly say who they are working for? Does the boss use people like this to show others how many followers/how much power they have? Consider why you have a puppet antagonist. It will affect their behavior and their motivations.