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Showing posts from June, 2015

How to Create a Convincing Good Guy – Part 1

There is a lot to cover where protagonists are concerned – probably more so that creating bad guys, so in the first part of this three part series, we’ll take a look at what a protagonist is, what he or she does for a story and the different types. What is a Protagonist? The protagonist is the main character, the person whose story you are telling, and is also commonly referred to as the hero or the good guy. The story will centre on them; so much of it will be from their perspective. Every protagonist will have a problem to solve, and only they can do it (with the help of other characters).  Every story needs a protagonist – what type they are and how they behave is down to the writer – because without that main character, there is no story to tell. It’s the protagonist’s story. They carry the story. Are There Different Types of protagonist? Strangely enough, different types of protagonist do exist. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ where main characters are concerned. While there may be …

How to Create a Bad Guy – Part 3

In the last part of this series, we’ll take a look at the anatomy of a bad guy – all the things that make a bad guy ‘bad’. The life we’ve lived shapes who we are in the present, so it’s inevitable that incidents in the past will affect how your antagonist sees the world, and how they deal with the problems life throws at them.Just as in real life, some people can be nasty and horrible to others, while others are subversive and shifty – but whoever they are, they will have reasons for their behaviour. And those reasons drive them through the story, they provide character motive. So what might be those reasons? It’s Personal The antagonist has a personal problem with the protagonist, be in in the past or in the present, something that triggers the catalyst of actions that course through the story. Perhaps the protagonist did something to make the antagonist angry, and that rage is exacerbated by the protagonist’s actions. Secrets and Lies Antagonists always have plenty to hide, things that co…

How to Create a Bad Guy – Part 2

Part 1 of this series looked at why we have bad guys in our stories and why we need them, so this week we’ll take a look at how you bring your antagonist to life and fully develop the character in order to give them that purpose. This is where things get interesting. Just like your main character, your bad guy should be well thought out and fully developed before you embark with writing. This is important because although they may not share the same amount of ‘page’ time as your main character, they will still require the same thorough detail. Spend time characterising. Pay as much attention to him/her as you would the hero. It’s vital that you give credence to the character. There are a lot of aspects that make up a really good antagonist – the kind that the reader will remember long after they’ve finished reading your story, so it’s important to get it right. The one thing that is noticeable with bad guys is that many writers create their antagonist with the opposite emotional charact…

How to Create a Bad Guy – Part 1

When we write, generally the very first thing we think of is our main character, i.e. the protagonist - or more commonly known as the ‘good guy’. What we don’t always have in mind at that stage is a ‘bad guy’, the antagonist. That’s because we naturally focus on our main character first, since that is whose story we are telling, so when it comes to creating a bad guy, some writers struggle with the concept. In this special three part series, we’ll take a look at how to create an antagonist and explore why we need them in our stories. There is a lot of ground to cover on this subject, so for Part1, let’s start with the obvious. Why do we have antagonists? The fundamental reason we have antagonists is to create conflict. They provide this conflict because this is the one element that drives every story. A story without an antagonist or much conflict isn’t much of a story at all. Whoever your bad guy is, he or she will want to prevent the hero from achieving his or her goal (another drivin…