Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Quick Take: Introduce your Antagonist with Flair

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Mar• 12•14

           When first introducing your antagonist in the story beware of bringing him or her onto the stage as passive or low key. Now, it’s true that some antagonists are out to fool the protagonist from the get-go, but his or her true nature needs to be hinted at.  Or the antagonist’s agenda can be used–and let’s remember that whenever possible give all your characters warring agendas.

For example in Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park made into the blockbuster film we first meet John Hammond, the mastermind and creator of the park when he comes to visit and bribe the anthropologists. He needs them to sign off on his park so he can be covered by insurance. He bribes them with a promise of grant money to continue their work. It’s a great way of introducing his desperation and audacity. It’s also a deal with the devil.  After all, not many men dream of bringing dinosaurs back to life. Make sure your antagonist is active,  in motion throughout the story–sparring, eluding, taunting, scheming.

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