You may reach him at terribleminds [at] gmail [dot] com.

There i was searching for a way to make my antagonist better…that is, as soon as i could think up one…and by George, thanks to you I’m overflowing with ideas. You’ve saved my camp NaNoWriMo word count and my sanity. I am not worthy!

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He currently lives in the forests of Pennsyltucky with wife, two dogs, and tiny human.

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Character is the driver. Plot is the getaway car. Character drives plot; plot does not drive character. The antagonist isn’t just here as a rock in the stream diverting the plot-churned waters — he does not exist in service to a sequence of events but rather, he exists to change them, sway them, turn them to a sequence he wants — a sequence that stands in opposition to the protagonist. For opposition is key.

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Jeez, weren’t you paying attention? EYES ON ME, SOLDIER. Anyway. The antagonist opposes the protagonist. Theirs are clashing motivations. They possess needs and wants that exist in defiance of one another. The protagonist wants to free the slaves; the antagonist wants to keep them and the power they provide. The protagonist wants to rescue the hostages; the antagonist wants to keep the hostages, or worse, kill ’em. The protagonist wants a chalupa; the antagonist has stolen ALL THE CHALUPAS. The antagonist can oppose the main character directly, seeking to undo her efforts; or the antagonist can oppose her indirectly, coming at the story at an oblique angle (but still clashing with our protagonist character). But the point is the same no matter how you slice it: the antagonist stands in the way of the protagonist’s goals.

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Let the antagonist win. Maybe not at the end, but periodically, throughout. Let him break Batman’s back, or kill a hostage, or take all the toilet paper off the roll and *crash of thunder* fail to replace it.

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If you ignore everything else I wrote here (and for all I know, you will, you sonofabitch) then at least absorb this with your squirming storytelling cilia: the biggest and best test of an antagonist is that I want to a) love to hate them and/or b) hate to love them. Do either or both and it’s a major win. If you make me love them and I feel uncomfortable about that? You win. If you make me despise them and I love despising them the way a dog loves to roll around in roadkill? You win again. I hate that I love Hans Gruber. I love that I hate every Nazi in every Indiana Jones movie. For fuck’s sake, make me feel something.

Excellent blog. Thoroughly entertaining and informative. Well done, sir. Well done. Subscribed.

Freud’s Super-Ego and Nolan’s The Dark Knight | Writing

Chuck has contributed over two million words to the game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP). He was a frequent contributor to The Escapist, writing about games and pop culture.

this Entire piece was awesome… and gave so much richness to my thoughts as I develop my novel.

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Antagonists must possess believable motivations. And a motivation is the thing we tell ourselves — right? A racist doesn’t act just because he thinks people of other races should experience pain. Racism is far more deeply rooted and often glossed over with justifications — they don’t need to be good motivations or healthy ones, but we need to believe in them. Or, at least, we need to believe that the antagonist believes them. Ask yourself: what does the antagonist tell himself? How does he sleep at night?

Is it possible for a protagonist and antagonist to join forces against a worse antagonist?

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Antagonists are my real bane! This blog entry helped me think some thing through. Thanks a lot! I think it really helped! 😀 I got to jotting some stuff down and it got my juices flowing. Maybe I worked some stuff out. Maybe, until I get scared again. Isn’t that sort of funny. I’m scared of my antagonist, and I haven’t even written him yet. lol