Monday, September 9, 2013

Antagonists - Part III

Welcome to the third and not-quite-the-last post of my series on antagonists.  As I said yesterday, we're going to be going into the evil acts your villain commits.  (Just as a note, this is going to be child friendly post - as all the others are as well, just to clear up any possible misconceptions.)

Now that you have a villain with a definite category, we get to the major brainstorming stage.  You likely have a fairly clear idea as to why he is motivated to make your hero's life miserable, this post is all about enhancing it.

As any tactician of war would know, you must know who your enemy is if you are to win.  That was allegedly part of what brought Napoleon Bonaparte down - the Duke of Wellington had fought him too much and learned who he was and what he did on the battlefield.

Such is the same with our antagonist.  But we also need to know the hero.  Assuming you have a clear and well developed idea of who your hero is, this shouldn't be a problem.

Why?  Because somewhere along the lines of building the protagonist of your story you had to hit a sensitive subject - at least for the hero.  Somewhere along the line, you had to hit that spot where it hurt.  The hero's fears.  Dreads.  Terrors.  What he hated, what he feared - all that good stuff.

Those are the things that your villain must exploit.  Your villain has to be clever.  A mastermind - brilliant beyond the normal man.  And he has to exploit that and ruin the hero's dreams.  No, this isn't just another obstacle for the hero to overcome - this, this, is the point it all hangs on.  And this is when the journey looks like it was a total waste of time - and their lives were put to waste.

And remember that sometimes evil does win.  And it triumphs over good, and crushes it under the black hoof.  And all hope is gone, and evil is reigning.

At least for now.

~R. A. H. Thacker

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