I see my protagonist in The Farmer’s Cop pretty clearly. He’s a former sheriff who recently lost the family ranch due to bad investments. He’s a pariah with his siblings; they really don’t like him. He moves from rural California to Los Angles; a sheep missing his wool. He is trying to fit into a hip culture, and well, he will never be mistaken for hip. But he’s trying. My protagonist is very smart and doesn’t suffer fools. He uses his country charm as a way to sneak under the fences.
As for my antagonist; I still need to figure him/her out. They need to be an equal to my sheriff. Just as smart, and in some ways, smarter. The antagonist needs to have some flaws and character traits will all admire. In essence, the reader needs to sympathize, and even like, the murderer.
As I said before, the mystery story must be about the detective solving the murder. But the story also needs to feature the murderer. We need to feel like this is someone we would like to hang out with.
Character planning is in some ways more important than plotting. Sure, it is nice to know the story outline. However, the way the characters react to things happening in the story will push the story forward and allow the reader to grow to love the character.
Five Character Traits of The Antagonist (Murderer)
I go into more detail on these five traits on my Patreon Page.