Most stories have a singular villain, one incredibly devious and evil person or thing for the protagonist to fight or experience victory over.
I ask, “Why stop there?”
Why not add a minor antagonist to the mix? Change things up and give your character someone else to dance around or have a spat with. Our human lives are not filled with only people we love, or even with people we like, for that matter!
Even if you are writing a fantasy story, having a variety of characters, all with different moods, attitudes, and characteristics adds both depth and realism.
Below is a snippet from the Prologue in Beyond the Shadows where I introduce a mild antagonist for Michael Hawkins:
“So, you finally did it. Good. Very good. I was wondering when you would finally feed, Michael,” she said. Standing in the lamplight at the alley entrance, the hood of her emerald cloak cast her face in darkness, but her voice couldn’t be forgotten. Her eyes shone from within the black, small spring green fire lights. Once in years past, he had thought her eyes were lovely. Now he realized they were cold and void of life. Now he knew looks were indeed deceiving…
Michael stumbled backward and, losing his balance, fell on top of the body. He quickly scrambled to get back up, glaring at her. He stiffened as she walked up to him, swiftly stepping aside as she moved past him, but then flinched when she grazed his hand at his side. He turned and watched her kneel down next to the body. He couldn’t bear to think of it as ever having been a man. He stared as she slipped the cream-colored glove from her right hand, jaw clenched as he watched her reach out and dip a pinky finger into the wound he had made. She brought it back to her lips, its tip painted in blood, and sucked on it tenderly. She turned to Michael, her finger still in her mouth.
“Mmm,” she purred, “that was a tasty one.” She smiled at his pained expression and stood up. Pushing back her hood, she sauntered over to him. Too vain to care about standards, she wore no wig. Her long strawberry blonde hair was piled high this evening, curls atop her head and soft tendrils framing her face and collarbone. Her face had been powdered white, but her cheeks were rosy, belying the fact that no life existed in her frame. Pouting her tart pink lips, she said, “Aww, you are upset. Come here, my dear.”
She opened her arms to him, and he instinctively took a step back. She froze and brought her arms back down, folding them across her chest.
“You think I would hurt you?” she inquired. Then she smiled, adding, “That is very wise, dear. Very wise indeed.”