Reading time – 1 min, 10 sec.
Character development—or lack of—can make or break any story.
And just as the protagonist must be fleshed out so does the antagonist.
We may or may not like the antagonist.
They could be truly evil, intent on destroying the very fiber of goodness.
Or their actions could be a defense mechanism in place because of a tortured past or traumatic event.
It doesn’t matter. They’re standing in the way of the protagonist’s HEA or causing them harm, so someone must deal them with.
But shouldn’t we know at least some of what is driving them?
No one wants to destroy good just for the hell of it. I mean… it’s good! Doesn’t everyone like good? What happened to our character to make good bad for them? What was the trauma that built a wall around them? Were they betrayed by some they trusted? Loved?
I addressed some of these things with the villain in Sins of the Mother. I didn’t have the time or opportunity to go too deep with him, but I found out about his history. While I may not understand why he commits the crimes he does, I believe I understand how he got that way.
And I want to save him.
But much like Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Erik in The Phantom of the Opera, the fate of my antagonist is sealed from birth. While he doesn’t have a physical or facial deformity, his soul is deformed and his mind, fractured. By the time I meet him, he is unredeemable.
I have to let go and allow him to play his part in my protagonist’s journey.
But I don’t have to like it.
©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved
Day 8 word count – 16101
2 thoughts on “Camp NaNo Update #8”
I hope he will show you a way to save him.
I don’t really like villains. I much prefer antagonists. I only have antagonists in my stories and I love them as much as I love my MCs. I think that’s part of the secret of storytelling. If we love all our characters, including the ‘bad’ ones, then we’ll give all of them the best chance.
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I can’t save him, but maybe in the end he won’t be judged as harshly.