The antagonist is on his or her own hero’s journey. Thus, he or she would also have people who help and hinder along the way. Today, I’ll be taking a closer look at how my antagonist(s) are seeing and responding to the story events.
(odd coincidence: I took a picture of a crank and put that crank in my novel yesterday)
He understood it now, the crank, the chain. That sound, that horrible sound, clanking and grinding in his head. It had been there all this time and it had a terrible purpose.
Today’s Simple Task
MC compares self to other characters in story – false sense of achieving goal
→ I like this prompt for my scene today. As Kirk walks the property with Shawna and she tries to get him to give her clues, he constantly talks about how he was different from the rest of the family, trying to portray himself in a good light, but over-doing it. Turning himself into a saint in contrast to the devils. Then he catches himself and tries to make them not look guilty either.
Set your timer for 15 minutes. What problems are coming for your protagonist that s/he is not aware of yet?
→ Since this is very similar to how I looked at the simple task yesterday, I’m going to change it to “What problems are coming for your antagonist?”
Word Of The Day
recidivist: n. repeat offender
He was becoming a recidivist. He had heard it was a slippery slope. One lie leads to another lie to another lie until you can’t keep track anymore. He was sliding quickly now.
8 Action Verbs:
She had done her research. They allocated one percent of the budget to missing persons and only one percent of that budget went to persons that were missing more than a year. No wonder he wanted this case closed now.
When last he checked, no one had noticed he was gone.
She coordinated a surprise birthday party for the sheriff. It would give her one more afternoon, maybe even the weekend before he noticed she hadn’t stopped her investigation.
She enlarged the image. She had been right.
She had long immunized against chauvinism. She almost didn’t hear it anymore.
She would have mediated the argument between the two brothers if she could understand them at all. She knew Kirk was speaking English, but it still didn’t make any sense.
She snagged the book and raised it above her head. That got their attention.
She hadn’t specified the details for which she searched.
Awesome Sentence Challenge
Look at the last paragraph you wrote yesterday, or a paragraph you wrote this morning. For each sentence in the paragraph, write ten different sentences to say the same thing. You can use different words, but don’t change the meaning. Choose your favorites of the new sentences and combine them to reform the paragraph. Compare and contrast.
Before paragraph: He didn’t need any of this. He wanted to take white out to everything he had thought and seen today. He had often wished life could be edited. He looked around for the dog, thought he would give it a good thank you head scratch or belly-rub, but it was gone.
Example of ten ways to write first sentence:
- This visit was unnecessary.
- He found these emotions extraneous.
- Facing his past was non-essential.
- Kirk’s psyche was too fragile to dive into his past.
- This house had no claim on him.
- He was committed to moving on.
- Visiting his past was a frivolous activity.
- The memories this visit dug up were not what he needed.
- He felt overwhelmed by the burden of this place.
- He wished he had found a way out of coming here.
After paragraph: The memories this visit dug up were not what he needed. He craved the ignorance of yesterday. He had often seen life as a bad movie that needed a good edit. He thought he would give the dog a good scratch as a thank you. The dog was gone.
Compare and contrast: Without the context of what came before, the second paragraph is clearer. The first sentence was too vague before. I like the visual of erasing or blotting out what he had seen and felt in the first paragraph, so I might go back to something like that. I really like the third sentence in the after paragraph, but then had a bunch of trouble with the dog sentence out of context. I would need to add something to make it smoother, I think.
Overall this is a great exercise and something I plan to bring to my editing.
Today is about the tests, allies and enemies of the antagonist.
Test card: Judgement
MC learns from test: The Empress
Allies: Eight of coins
Most important ally: Queen of cups
Enemies: Seven of cups
What motivates the enemies: Two of cups
My interpretation: It’s very interesting that I pulled the same enemies cards as yesterday. So let’s see. My antagonist’s test is about trusting her judgement and whether she can reconcile with her past (interesting parallel to the protagonist). Through this test she will learn resourcefulness, generosity, and creativity. She finds allies in her apprentices, people who are learning her trade. Her most important ally is an intuitive woman. Her enemy could be her own indecision, or the protagonist.
I hope you find some inspiration in these exercises.