In comics, the bad guy is evil, down right nasty. In Urban Fantasy, you often find the same kind of treatment of the antagonist. They are almost like a prototype rather than anything we’d see in an actual person.
I wonder if a writer could get away with creating such an evil person in something like contemporary woman’s fiction. In a number of the books I’ve read, the antagonist isn’t even a person but a set of circumstances that prevent the main character from achieving their goal.
Let’s say you have two people with different goals. How do you determine who has the better goal. Is one person self-serving and arrogant? Does (s)he perceive him or herself that way? Probably not. Most likely, they’d be pretty offended if you pointed it out to them. Or is their selfish behaviour only the perception of another person because their own goals are thwarted?
So for today’s prompt, what makes an antagonist? Write a scene where it isn’t necessarily clear who the antagonist is. You might have to work very hard to create reader sympathy for one character over another.