Tag Archives: antagonist

Writing outside the outline

I planned my novel. I planned for a month, writing notes, character sketches, plotting the novel chapter by chapter and now I’ve found myself writing a whole chapter that I didn’t plan. Ok so, there was a secondary character, a friend of the protagonist, who I had previously sketched out to include in the novel. I didn’t know when she would appear, then I didn’t know if I would need her at all and now I’ve written a scene starting her and the protagonist.I know this secondary character is needed, but I feel a little uneasy that she took up a chapter…well 4 pages when I wasn’t expecting it or hadn’t planned her at this point. But I’m happy that she has made her entrance because she will come in handy later.

I’m still plugging away slowly at writing out the plot. I know that what I’ve written so far isn’t very deep. Its the surface level, the first draft of a plot. I will have a lot of work ahead of me for the next round of re-writing. Maybe I should hit the pause button and really think about how I can write more in depth with the protagonist and her conflict. I should print off a big sign that says “CONFLICT” and “ANTAGONIST” and “SETTING” as reminders to keep these things present in the story because for the moment they are quite scarce.

Progress so far:

  • 70 pages written (hoping to make up for my missed target last week)
  • wrote and unplanned chapter 8 and made some notes of scenes to write in chapter 9

I can’t think of any “Novel Writing Tip of the Day” because I haven’t thought of anything useful lately. I am feeling particularly novice in this whole novel writing business and I should start looking for a writers support group or something to keep my motivation up.

Cheers to all those writers who have finished their first draft!

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Identifying the Antagonist

Doing more reading than writing lately, I’ve discovered a small problem. Before I began writing, I knew the general storyline and what the central conflict was going to be, but what I didn’t create was the antagonist. Yes, its seems logical for most people that all stories should have an antagonist, but for some reason I had mistaken my conflict for the antagonist and so here I am.

Thinking about this predicament, I tried to identify an antagonist. I had developed and introduced a character in the story already who could serve as an antagonist. The issue is that this character cannot be the one and only antagonist driving the whole story to its climax. This antagonist is part of a bigger picture.

Unfortunately, I’m not writing fantasy or an good vs. evil story so this is where I am stuck. The antagonist  was supposed to be a place, but as far as I’ve read, a place doesn’t qualify as an antagonist. It kind of has to be a person. So I will use my already in play character and make her the antagonist who will represent the place as well. How’s that? Not enough details to know right?

Enter the antagonist: The protagonist’s boss at work. So far she doesn’t play a large role, but I will have to make her more present and make her be more “antagonistic.” It will take some creativity, planning and beautiful execution for me to be able to pull it off; the antagonist being a person who also represents an “place” or “an idea.”

Sounds more complex than what I was going for. I wonder if it will work. I will think about it as I continue to write out the plot for the first draft.

Progress so far:

  • 68 pages (missed 10 page target per week)
  • started chapter 8
  • discovered major issue: lack of antagonist/conflict driving the story

I will keep chipping away at draft 1. Hopefully by the end of this draft, I will come up with a way to make into a real novel with all its respective parts.

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