“Even the coolest monster gets dull fast without a protagonist we can really care about; someone who acts in an intelligent, realistic way.” -- Tina Jens in Such Horrible People as published in On Writing Horror.It is how well the protagonist and antagonist play off each other that makes a story/novel appealing. The two aren’t standalone characters. Each must be a person the reader believes in, characters with strengths and weaknesses just like all of us, and characters who complement each other. They have goals and needs that contrast with one another in a way that makes each a supporting character of the other. I don’t remember thinking of them in this way before.