I’m dispensing information from Sean Mactire’s book, Malicious Intent: A Writer’s Guide to How Murderers, Robbers, Rapists, and Other Criminal Think, in an effort to help novelists create believable antagonists. Today’s discussion is on the profile matrix, which I think is the best part of creating a bad guy.
- 1. Visionary: He’s received word from God, or angels, or aliens, that someone needs to be killed, and he’s just the guy for the job.
- 2. Mission oriented: He’s going to save the world from blue-eyed blondes. Or he’s going to save himself from nosy social workers. Or he’s going to save the children of New York City from pedophiles dressed in Santa suits who encourage children to sit in their laps and whisper secrets in their ears.
- 3. Comfort oriented: He’s number one, and his desires must be satisfied. He must have cash, bourbon, and expensive works of art or life isn’t complete.
- 4. Lust motivated: He’s got a thing for Asian women with long black hair, and life isn’t good unless he’s having sex with all of them.
- 5. Thrill motivated: Jumping out of planes and climbing rocks without a rope used to be enough, but now it’s not. He’s escalated to murder to get that rush of adrenaline.
- 6. Power/control oriented: He must be the one calling the shots, making the decisions, and being god. Without power, he’s worse than nothing.