Story-fixing Your Novel––Part V

plotting

Villains. Scoundrels. Antiheroes. Adversaries. Mwmah ha ha! Every story needs an antagonist. Click to Tweet #amwriting #story-fixing

When portraying an antagonist, whether it be human, animal, weather, natural disaster, or an evil person, it’s important to show the antagonist in his best light. Sounds funny, doesn’t it?

Here’s a few tips:

  • Limit their time on the page
  • Show the mental/emotional unbalance
  • Create callousness rather than sadism
  • Villain should not be self-congratulatory
  • They don’t view themselves as the adversary
  • Show the villain’s justification for his actions
  • Give them one virtue
  • Give ‘em free rein, and see what happens (can’t always plot that out ahead of time)
via IMDB

via IMDB

Quick Fix

How should the hero fight the villain? Alone. The hero fights with courage and virtue, the villain responds with treachery and deceit. When squaring off, maybe the villain forces the hero into a moral dilemma of some kind. All the better.

The hero should be constrained by morality and will respond in a way the reader expects. The villain’s downfall should come because of his own choices and actions, that would not be moral.

Fine-Tuning Your Manuscript

  • Since no one sees themselves as a villain, how does your adversary perceive themselves to be a hero in their own mind? How does he rationalize his actions and justify his choices?
  • How does the hero figuratively outlast the storm (showing perseverance) that the villain brings on? Or how will the hero outwit the villain (cleverness)?
  • How does the hero overcome evil or the threat to his life at the very moment it seems most likely he’ll succumb to it or be destroyed by it? How can you make that a pivotal moment more believable or poignant?
  • If you have the villain have a change of heart, will the readers buy it? What would be more intriguing? A change of heart, or not? How will that affect the ending?

Villains. Create an antagonist the readers will love to hate, or hate to love. Click to Tweet. #amwriting #story-fixing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Mickey Mindset

Celebrating the Art of Disney Storytelling

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Joseph E Bird

Let's talk about reading, writing and the arts.

For a purpose

The blog site of Rick Wade

devotions4misfits

Where it is a good thing to be an outcast.

Cracked-Pot

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; let your light shine through your cracked pot. Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in and comes out.

loon watchman

stark raving sane.

Diann Mills

Expect An Adventure

Kelly F Barr

"A story without love is empty." -- Kelly F. Barr

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift

Vonj Production

Bringing you love through spirit!

A christian dad blog

Just a dad following God's path

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

Funny Dog Moments

Funny Tales of Cinnamon the Cute Guard Dog

Life Through the Big Screen

A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.

%d bloggers like this: