Antagonist's Point of View only one chapter at End of Novel

by Betty K
(Surrey, B.C. Canada)

Question: There are several antagonists in the book but the main character's love interest is also an antagonist--almost to the end of the book.

I am only using two point-of-view characters up until that point; but at the end, when his viewpoint on everything changes, I would like to write the chapter in his OWN point of view.

Will that be annoying to the reader, do you think?

Answer: Forgive me while I think on the screen.

Interesting choice. I'm assuming the story will essentially be complete by that point and that the chapter from the antagonist's viewpoint is intended to provide an author's proof or clear up a mystery? Perhaps it reveals a truth that changes the meaning of the outcome for the reader, while leaving the main character in the dark - a kind of dramatic irony?

So, if he is the love interest, does that leave the main character in a relationship with someone who is secretly a villain?

If so, I see no problem, so long as you've put in a few clues along the way which your main character doesn't pick up on. It sounds like a clever way to set the reader up for a sequel in which the main character discovers the truth.

Oh wait, you say he's an antagonist almost to the end of the book and then he changes. So that makes me wonder what he needs to reveal to the reader that couldn't be revealed from the main character's viewpoint.

Does he do something in secret to help her or that shows his change of heart - proving she was right to trust him all along? (I'm assuming he wouldn't be the love interest if she has no feelings for him.) That suggests she didn't know about his villainy.

That type of ending could also work, if it proves your main character made the right choice at the climax. Of course it implies that the thing he does is connected to something in his life he wouldn't want to tell her about. So the relationship will go forward with him having a secret. Again, that sets up a possible sequel in which she finds out about the secret and feels betrayed.

Back to your question... will that annoy the reader?

I don't think it would if, prior to this final chapter, the overall throughline, the main character's throughline, and the relationship throughline have all been resolved, so the reader is feeling pretty relaxed. This final chapter would be the resolution or final signpost in the impact character throughline. A nice little surprise twist.

The one thing it does imply, assuming the love interest is the impact character, is that the main character's choice at the climax is to remain steadfast. Usually, if the impact character changes, the main character stays steadfast and vice versa. In other words, she influences him to change in the end, not the other way round.

Of course, even if this guy were just a minor character, not the impact character, this chapter might still work as an epilogue. But a love interest is usually a pretty important character, so I'm thinking impact character.

It's fun exercise to try and deduce the structure of a story from just a few facts, but I hope I've said something that helps you as well. (Hey, I could have just answered, "No.")

Comments for Antagonist's Point of View only one chapter at End of Novel

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Aug 18, 2012
Thank You
by: Betty K

Thank you. You have given me some very helpful thoughts there.

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