antagonized by my antagonist

Antagonists, admittedly, come in many forms. Antagonists can be events, places, or even nice people who happen to be unintentionally opposing the protagonist.

Generally, my antagonists are human, and getting into the head of an evil antagonist is always the hardest part of writing a novel for me. I don’t give myself an easy out and avoid them. I believe that their story is just as important as that of my protagonist, but coming up with believable motivations for wicked characters and keeping them human is a tall order.

These characters are extremely difficult for me, and not because I’m a wonderful, good person who can think no evil thoughts. I’ve just been very fortunate in my life that I’ve always been loved by my family and friends. I think that people who harm others often have never had that kind of love or allowed themselves to feel loved.

Finding that source of rejection for person can take years of therapy. Finding that source of rejection for a fictional character can really take some rooting around in their character sketches. Then at some point in the novel, I have to give them a vulnerable moment so my reader can see them, really see them, not as an evil person, but as a normal person who has become evil through their choices and actions.

After multiple drafts, my antagonist usually gives me their vulnerable moment, but sometimes, finding that moment can be more intense than therapy.

Copyright 2009 Teresa Frohock


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4 Responses to antagonized by my antagonist

  1. nadia888 says:

    I often think that the antagonist is the most difficult character to create, therefore I never succeded very well. The protagonist, well you are just in his mind all the time, but when it comes to the antagonist everything is very much more complicated.

    • Teresa says:

      I have to work hard writing scenes and dialogue, some of which I never use in the book, just to get a feel for my antagonist.

      The best basis you can have is your character sketch. We’ll talk about character sketches later. 😉

  2. uninvoked says:

    How come you don’t write more? I’ve hunted all through these categories for your thoughts on writing and this is the only piece I’ve come up with. You’ve got some strong solid thoughts. Why don’t you share them more often?

    • Teresa says:

      Well, first let me say you’ve simply made my morning! 😉

      I started this whole experience as an exercise for me to hone my own writing skills and for the longest time, I’ve felt a little like a voice in the wilderness. There are so many wonderful, wonderful blogs with such a wealth of information out there that I’ve spent some time reading them.

      I’ve also been hard at work at my own novel, desperately trying to bring it to its conclusion.

      However, I would be delighted to started writing more on writing again. To know that even one person is enjoying the articles and getting something out of them is all the hope I need. It’s the comments and interactions with other writers that make it all worthwhile, though. You all have so much to teach me, too!

      Thank you, Uninvoked! I will see what I can do to work on another article just on writing this week.

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