by Lily

Hi, I'm writing a story about a girl who is depressed, going to a psychologist and attempts suicide at some point. She is also involved in a relationship with a non-depressed guy, who urges her to keep going to a psychologist.

Now I'm wondering, as the girl is the protagonist, would her ultimate goal be to attempt suicide or to get better (that's her boyfriends goal and she does try)?

Without a clear goal in mind, I can't figure out who the person/institution would be who tries to keep her from achieving it (the villain, so to say).

If her goal is to kill herself, obviously the antagonist would be her boyfriend who tries to keep her from doing so.

However, if her goal is to get better (which is more likely), her boyfriend is helping her with that and is therefore more her guardian. And if this is the goal, who WOULD be the antagonist? Could it be her boss who thinks she's overreacting and won't let her take time off to get better and frequently visit a psychologist?

Thanks in advance, this site is amazing.

Answer: I suspect there are parts of the story that you haven't included in this brief description. If you haven't explored them yourself yet, it might be worthwhile to do so.

For instance, why does she want to commit suicide? What happened to her that lead to this desire?

If it is, for example, a repressed memory of some horrific event, the Story Goal might be to recover the memory. If so, suicide would be a way of preventing that goal, so the antagonist would be the part of her subconscious (standing in for her abuser) that wants her to die.

Remember that the archetypal characters represent different motivations within the storymind. Usually they are represented by different characters, but, in some stories, these motivations are all within the mind of one character.

If it's not a repressed memory, she could be running away from a conscious memory that is too painful, so the goal might be to change her attitude or her impulsive response - to heal from the event. The anatagonist still could be an abusive person who wouldn't want her to escape from his/her influence.

Or it could be there is a situation in her life that is intolerable (for instance a dysfunctional family) and the goal is to resolve that situation. The antagonist could be a family member with a vested interest in the status quo.

Lots of possibilities you can play with.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero