Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Antagonist

A is for Antagonist. The definition of antagonist is opponent, rival, enemy, competitor. Someone that shows opposition.

The antagonist is the adversary or opponent to the protagonist. He, she, or they can pose a threat by just being present.

Ex: In The Harry Potter Series,  Harry Potter's main antagonist was The One Who Should Not Be Mentioned, The Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Ex: In The Twilight Series, Bella's antagonists were The Volturi in Italy; also James, Laurent, and Victoria (vampires) that were out to destroy her. Or, you could say the Volturi were the antagonists to the Cullens and to Bella.

Ex: Tybalt is the main antagonist in Romeo and Juliet.

Thus, any person or group of people that are out to destroy the protagonist, the main character, is the antagonist.

The antagonist is an integral part of all stories and should be introduced early on in your novel, novella, or short story.

Good always versus evil in most stories. There has to be opposition in all things in order to have a story worth telling. 


Patricia Lynne said...

In my first novel, I had a little trouble with figuring out who the antagonist was. My vampire MC had what you could call bad guys after him, but they weren't that important. I finally realized the whole of humanity was my MC's antagonist but there wasn't really a face you could put on one person and say "That's the bad guy" Also, in a way, my MC was his own antagonist because of his vampire nature.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I like your illustration.

Sharon Himsl said...

Thanks for the post. Antagonist can be tricky to write.

Jessica Schley said...

Great and cool post, Kathy! I've also had trouble teasing out my antagonist in my RIP (rewrite in progress--RIP is such an apropos acronym). Looking forward to reading your A-Z this month. And I agree with elingregory...neat illustration.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I like writing antagonists - they are complex characters, good and evil. I think my favorite quote about antagionists is from Tom Hiddleston, who played Loki in "The Avengers."

"Every villain is a hero in his own mind."

I love writing them! :)

Margot said...

Hi Kathy,
Thanks for dropping by my blog A Devotional Mosaic.
I wonder if you can tell me what those characters are called that you can't really tell if they are good or bad. For example Severus Snapein the Harry Potter books. In the Dr. Who stories it would be River Song. Edmond in the Narnia books. I suppose they might be anti heros but they are a funny sort about the time you think they are definitely bad guys they surprise you and do somethings good and heroic.

Anyway enjoyed your post. Have a great A-Z month. Blessings, Margot

Marcy said...

For some reason it's been hard for me to develop the character of my antagonists. I always end up wanting to make them nicer . . .

Anonymous said...

Antagonists are so much fun to write but cause so much misery to our beloved protagonist. Nevertheless, if he/she wasn't there, there would be little story. I think my favorite stories are when there are more than one antagonist and when the antagonist isn't necessarily a person but a setting or a situation that the protagonists must struggle against.

Always great to meet a fellow writer! Best wishes.

Kathy Collier said...

Marcy: I totally understand having to write the antagonist character. I, too, want to find the good in that bad character.

It's hard to think on an 'evil' or 'mean' level.

Kathy Collier said...

Hi, Brenna. An antagonistic situation or setting is also a must for a great story. Nice to meet you too.

Dee said...

Every fairy tale needs a good old fashioned villain, as Jim Moriarty said in Sherlock. They are a necessary evil!

Meanwhile I once wrote about what happens to a famous villain after the fairy tale ended. The short story's here im case you wanted to read it.