Date of publication: 2017-07-09 09:44
The antagonist is, quite simply, the person who acts to keep your protagonist from achieving his goals. Note the key words person and acts. I’m using person here as a catchall for a sentient being or creation of any kind that is capable of emotion and has the intellectual ability to plot against your protagonist. Thus, a personified car (as in Stephen King’s Christine) could be an effective antagonist, but an abstraction such as “society” or “Big Pharma” cannot. (More on this later.)
Throughout the course of the school year, we will be studying various elements of literature in preparation for the PSSAs. As we read short stories, poetry and drama, we will look at the appropriate literary elements in detail so we can better understand the literature.
Revenge, ambition, lust and conspiracy return to the heads of those that conjured them in Hamlet, completely annihilating two families--the innocent with the guilty. Check out my blog on the play (includes current link to PBS Great Performance video of production of play): http:///t5bmb
Good article, Brian. I 8767 m a little worried, now, about my current novel. I think I 8767 ve done a decent job of creating a well-rounded antagonist and giving her the proper motivation, but the true villain isn 8767 t revealed until about three fourths of the way through the novel. I 8767 ll have to consider more proxies.
Rask despises what's happening to his family. He doesn't take a "big brother" stance, but is simply angry that Pyotr is using the family's poverty to get a "legal concubine". Raskhas a large amount of pride in himself seeing that he won't accept any of Pulcheria's pension and later gives money. Read more
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Imagery - the author&rsquo s attempt to create a mental picture (or reference point) in the mind of the reader. Remember, though the most immediate forms of imagery are visual, strong and effective imagery can be used to invoke an emotional, sensational (taste, touch, smell etc) or even physical response.
In most fiction, bringing the antagonist and protagonist face to face on more than one occasion will heighten the tension. When this is not possible for plot reasons, proxies can work, as can behind-the-scenes machinations such as anonymous threats and indirect attacks against the protagonist’s reputation, family or self. Rowling enables mental contact between Harry and Voldemort before their physical confrontation that type of “mind meld” won’t work for all stories, but it reminds us to be creative in the ways we structure protagonist/antagonist interactions.
Plot is the series of events in a story that explain to the reader what is happening. One of the easiest ways to understand plot is to look at the mountain shaped plot diagram and think of story in terms of climbing a mountain. Please refer to the corresponding image to see the diagram and its labels.
In the story I 8767 m working on now, the antagonist is the American government, even though their intent wasn 8767 t to harm the characters. Their Big Evil was simply not knowing the characters existed when they created a stupid law. In another story I was working on, the protagonists merely lost their health, so finances tanked and they ended up homeless. Who is the antagonist? Society in a way, but, again, society didn 8767 t do this to them. Society simply doesn 8767 t help people quickly when health ruins finances.
There’s no tension in a story where the protagonist is a Mensa member and Delta Force commando and his foe is a wimpy dolt. Do you enjoy watching a football game when the score is 77–5, or a horse race when one thoroughbred wins by 75 lengths? No, such uneven matchups are boring. The same is true in novels. So, to heighten tension throughout the story, your antagonist needs to be your hero’s equal, or superior to your hero, at least in some arenas. Consider giving the antagonist complementary traits (he’s calm and detail-oriented if your heroine is impulsive she’s a great team-builder or motivator if the hero is a loner).
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