Creating a strong reason(s) for antagonist to against protagonist

by Lyndon Murray

Question: I am writing a thriller that features a 17-year-old girl that fights against a witch that wants to destroy her.

Can you please give me some scenarios with strong reasons why the antagonist (the witch) would want to kill her?

Answer: I could, but then...

1. I would be doing your work for you.

2. Because the ideas wouldn't be coming from you, you would not have an emotional connection to them. Because your brain did not do the work of thinking through this scenario, you would not be able to write it authentically. There would be missing pieces to the thoughts and feelings underlying it.

It would be far more rewarding for you and your readers if you were to take the time to brainstorm and think through your own scenarios, to find one that you emotionally connect with, one that is uniquely your own.

You might start by thinking about situations you have witnessed or experienced in real life when someone has wanted to do something bad to someone else. Think about the emotions and the relationship dynamics behind such events.

Then perhaps take those real life examples and translate them into your story world where witchcraft is a factor. Try exaggerating the emotions of the villain. Ramp up the stakes in the situation. Turn the relationship difficulties up a few notches.

I think you'll be much more pleased with the result then you would be if I just gave you an answer.

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