Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Protagonist or Antagonist

So another week is in the books.  I was lying in bed the other night, once again, unable to fall asleep until after lying in bed for an hour and a half.  I got to thinking about what would make a good blog post.  I was thinking I'd write something about reading and what it does.  But I was like, eh, I could do better.  Then it hit me.  Why not talk about the protagonist and antagonist?

It's kinda funny really.  When someone writes a story, there is always the MC, or protagonist, that the story is centered on.  Then there's the opposing force, the power opposite, the antagonist.  It never occurred to me that these two characters are the MCs of a story (funny I know).  The thing about an antagonist though, is that they aren't always a person.  Sometimes it's monsters, dinosaurs, the weather, life.  The antagonist takes on many forms, and is a fun role for me personally.  It can be anything!

I love creating a good antagonist.  It's the basis of every good story I write.  I often spend more time working with the bad guy, force, entity, or whatever, more than I usually do with the protagonist.  The good guy usually comes naturally to me, the bad guy is the juicy part, the guy I sometimes wished I could be.  The bad ass that had no emotional attachment, the bad ass who kicked ass when he needed to, the bad ass who walked into a bar and unload with an AK-47.

I have a story arc going for a trilogy, and part of the reason is because I couldn't kill off my antagonist.  He's just so... awesome.  He's brutal, he's powerful, intelligent, suave, but also convincing.  This final feature is the reason he's still alive.  He speaks truth, and I realized this when writing an in depth conversation he was having with another character.  The words came out so naturally and just made sense.  I've had moments when writing the good guy and I type out his/her dialogue and think: "mmm, no, that's not right, he/she wouldn't say that."  I never had that with this particular character.  While my first book is focused on the good guy and what he's going through, it is every bit as much about by bad ass antagonist.

The next best thing about writing a good antagonist is that you can make it apart of the protagonist.  I'm doing that with my current novel.  Sure, I have some outside characters that create difficulty for my protagonist, but the true evil in the story is what lies within him.  The unresolved conflict from a life that has left him angry, hurt, and afraid.

When I write, I love writing about the antagonist.  It allows me to jump into a mode of thinking I don't access on a day-to-day basis.  I'm a good person and a sweet guy, I know this.  But sometimes, there's nothing better than letting out the darkness that lies within us all, and relish in it for an hour or two as I write about a juicy antagonist.

Where do you stand?  You prefer writing about the protagonist, or antagonist?

Keep Writing.


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