Antagonist Role

Question: I'm practicing writing and have been trying particularly hard to write different types of character relations. If in a story, the antagonist isn't exactly standing in the way of the protagonist himself but the society in which the protagonist lives. What if the protagonist doesn't necessarily think so badly of this antagonist and if someone suggested that the two were alike, he wouldn't be so insulted. Supposing that the protagonist's qualms with the antagonist are fairly minor and not enough to kick him out to door to do something about it but more as in he's expected to fight the antagonist because his society wants him to. Does this create a dynamic where his society is now his enemy or is he just kind of isolated with two villains or is it something that I have not considered?

Answer: It sounds as though you need to separate the ideas of protagonist/antagonist and main character/impact character.

Perhaps your main character (principle point of view) is not really the protagonist. The protagonist should be someone who really wants to defeat the villain. Your main character may be someone else who is involved but not leading the charge.

Similarly, the impact character (the one who can say to the main character, "We're a little bit alike") may or may not be the antagonist. Nonetheless, his function is to provide the main character with a different perspective, so that the main character must decide whether to switch to the impact character's approach or stay the same.

In other words, the main character may be watching the struggle between the protagonist and antagonist. He may be tempted/pressured to side with the antagonist/impact character, and must make a decision at the climax which way to go.

It's that dilemma that creates the tension.

Comments for Antagonist Role

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Sep 18, 2012
Point of View can one use two distinctive ones.
by: Collette Anderson

Hi Glen and Good Evening;
First allow me to say I do truly appreciate allow your suggestions and the ones that I read from other writers, and authors.

Now,for my question; Can I began a chapter with "After noticing the sun as it enters into the sky thinking how lovely today was going to be. And later in that very same chapter have my reader see a change. She picks up the mail from the mailbox and she opens mail and becomes so enrage reading the letter she very angrily balls' up that letter and tosses it into the garbage. She then climb the stairs hitting on each step with rage as she storms into her room gathering the clothing from the closet stuffing them into the brown cloth bag.

Did I confuse my reader. Because I am wondering if an author can use the first person and third person point of view in the same chapter. I realize that I am stretching the abilities with these different points of view I am curious though.

Sep 19, 2012
by: Glen

Well, Collette, you have me confused with that passage.

Yes, I think you do need to stick to one tense and choose either first or third person narration. Don't mix these up without having a good reason. It's okay to change point-of-view characters if you do it infrequently and you make it very clear to the reader what is happening. But I would not switch from first to third person within the same chapter.

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