Main Character Turns Into Antagonist

by Geraldine Bandiuan
(San Diego, CA, USA)

Hi! So, I'm writing a novel to submit so I can win a scholarship that can help me get into this high priced high school and I'm having trouble with this character of mine. He is this boy that the main character is supposed to be with but he turns on her but I don't know how to say that in the story. My story is Cinderella with A Twist where the prince charming turns on Cinderella and dates the evil step-sister. I need major help. Please!

Response: I sympathize with your predicament. Just to be clear, I can't write your story for you.

However, I will make a suggestion.

Don't think about how to "say" this guy turns on the girl. Think about how to "show" it. What does he actually do or fail to do? What does she see or hear that demonstrates his betrayal to her or perhaps his relationship with the "evil step-sister."

If you want to heighten the reader's sympathy for the girl, try to come up with the most humiliating way for her to find out, the worst time and place to find out, etc.

At the same time, try to consider the situation from his point of view. Is there some reason why he does what he does that the main character can't or wouldn't understand, from her point of view?

In other words, is he really a jerk? Or is she? Or is there a reason they are just not suited for each other?

Also, consider foreshadowing the break-up by illustrating the problems with the relationship before the betrayal occurs. Perhaps put in little clues earlier in the story that the main character doesn't pick up on but a careful reader might.

Best of luck.

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