To develop a powerful antagonist use these lists for the personality traits of both psychopaths and sociopaths and how they differ.
- Pretend to care about others.
- Fail to recognise other people’s distress.
- Have relationships that are shallow and fake and used to manipulate.
- Maintain a normal life to cover criminal activities.
- Cannot form genuine emotional attachments.
- Great liars.
- Arrogant and vain.
- Lacking in guilt or remorse.
- Insensitive to punishment.
- Express they don’t care how other’s feel.
- Hot-headed and compulsive.
- Prone to fits of anger and range.
- Recognise but try to rationalise their behaviour.
- Cannot maintain a regular work or family life.
- Can form attachments but find it difficult.
- A limited ability to feel remorse.
- No regard for risk.
- No regard for consequences.
Commonalities and early warning signs
- Aggression to people.
- Cruelty to animals.
- Destruction of property.
- Disregard for rules.
- Violation of laws.
Readers remember characters not plots. Make sure yours are fully-rounded both in personality and motivations. Make them vivid and authentic and readers will come back for more.