Not normal...but lots of fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Antagonists -- How Important ARE They?

I've found this great set of posts all about villains, antagonists, and the BBT (The Big Boss Troublemaker). Check them out here:

I love the way Kristen Lamb describes and handles the antagonist, even if I don't always agree with what she says. She's obviously learned a lot in her time as a writer online. I hope someday I'll be half as good as she is.

Her suggestion, and I find it intriguing to say the least, is to design your antagonist FIRST. Before your main character is but a starry glimmer in your eye, sit down and design the problem child who will come around and rain on their parade.

I don't know about you, but I'd like to try this idea out some time. Who knows? Maybe the results will be rather interesting.

What do you guys think? Do you think she puts too much emphasis on the role of the antagonist? Or do you think starting with the antagonist and working your way back to the protagonist is a great idea? I'd love to hear your opinions! So, please share with us all in the comments section.

Do you know the meaning of the antagonist? Many writers don't (I was one of them), and Kristen Lamb explains it spectacularly. Your antagonist isn't just a villain. A villain is a type of antagonist, but not the only kind. In a novel, anyone whose goal conflicts with the protagonist's is an antagonist. Read the blogs I linked to above if you wish to read more information on this subject. I certainly found it fascinating.

Have a great day, all, and happy writing!


  1. I haven't checked out the blog but I love that cartoon of the writer!

  2. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I only read the first post, but I agree with the emphasis she puts on the antagonist. Without the antagonist, there's no conflict; and without conflict, there's no story. I'd never thought about it before, but I think the germ of a good story could very well start with the antagonist - a seemingly impossible situation - and then the writer would have to figure out what sort of protagonist might be able to overcome that conflict. Interesting.