on Fiction University:
Sometimes, your novel needs a character readers love to hate.
Last week, Literary Rambles posted a great article about why we need unlikable characters that reminded me of a conversation my husband and I once had.
We were watching Downton Abby and remarking on how much we disliked the characters of Thomas and O’Brien. But if the show got rid of them, then there’d be no one to hate, and we’d focus our dislike on the next least-likable character (looking at you, Mary).
After some discussion, we realized this was common across many shows and even books, both with us, and family and friends.
In order to have a hero, a story needs a villain.