Is your villain too evil?
Now, I love books that makes a clear difference between right and wrong. I love the ones that show absolutes. I love it that you don't have to muse over an antagonist and find yourself confused about whether or not his sin was really "that bad".
You can go too far. Just like your protagonists can be too good, your antagonists can be too evil.
Sometimes, we need a regular bad guy. Not the super-villain. Just the ordinary individual, military leader, or church gossip who has an ax to grind. They are more subtle, more annoying. You generally hate the super-villains...but you get downright frustrated with the typical ones.
For example, think of a Spanish comandante. He may be handsome (especially in that Spanish uniform!). He's probably dashing, a good leader, a compassionate friend, and charmingly masculine. He may know the right things to say to the ladies, donate money to the poor, and host a party to celebrate the courage of one of his sergeants.
But he may also have devious plans up his sleeve. He may be capable of great cruelty, despite his suave and charming manners. He may accept bribes. Perhaps he is in allegiance with pueblo Indians who wish to overthrow the Americanos.
Just remember, bad guys aren't always obvious...at first.
So who is your villain?
Mine is currently Sir Darryl of Morningstar Castle. He's charming, rich, handsome, and powerful. But... Well, you'll have to wait until Rising to the Challenge releases in 2015 to find out why he is the villain!
Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog or Facebook to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing!