Tag Archive - antagonists

Coming Up with Antagonists for Your Novel

Last week we took a brief look at secondary characters who play a supporting role in your novel—who help bring out the good qualities and personality of your protagonist. It’s common to find two or three unique characters who are allies to your hero.

But, of course, conflict is key in a novel, and you need opposition. That can come in the form of one specific antagonist or nemesis character. But it can also be a group or society or the system. If your novel is about man vs. nature, your opposition might be a tornado or an earthquake.

Regardless of your plot and type of opposition, unless your story is about a person isolated from others, you will need a supporting cast. And that usually includes antagonists.

I gave some passage examples last week from my Western novel Colorado Dream (I write under the pen name Charlene Whitman for that series). We looked at two characters who provide humor and support for my protagonist, Brett.

Here’s a moment with my two secondary antagonists—the cowboys sent to kill Brett. You’ll notice I give Phineas, who doesn’t have a large role in my story, a lot of inner conflict. This sets him up to switch sides in the climax. I left out some paragraphs to trim this down for you. Continue Reading…

Bad Guys Have a Story to Tell

Last week I dove into bad guys in your fiction. Before you say you don’t have a clear antagonist in your story, think about a character that opposes your protagonist. It could even be a good friend. In some instances, supportive characters take on the role of an antagonist, so try to broaden your perspective a bit as we go a little deeper into understanding your antagonist and working on making him/her more human (unless they aren’t human, as might be the case in a sci-fi novel–but they still need to have some agreeable “human” traits, so if you think you can get out of doing this because of the genre you’re writing in, you have another think coming). Continue Reading…