3 April 2012, Development - Antagonist
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
The steps in making and using a character in a novel are as follows:
1. Development of the character (history, description, personality, etc.)
2. Revelation of the character (within the novel, show don't tell)
a. Description of the character - introduction
b. Voice of the character
c. Continuing revelation by showing
In a classical plot (and in most of my novels) you have a protagonist, an antagonist, and a protagonist's helper. If you develop these three characters for a novel, the plot will naturally fall out of the development of the characters. For example, in Aksinya we have a protagonist, Aksinya, an antagonist, Asmodeus, and the protagonist's helper, Natalya. In previous writings, I showed the development of the characters. As I mentioned, the scenes fell out of this development:
1. Initial, conjuring the demon
2. Trying to save Aksinya's family
3. The revenge on those who murdered Aksinya's family
4. Beginning of the temptations of the demon
5. Plans to save Aksinya from the Bolsheviks, travel to Austria
6. Travel, to Minsk
7. Aquiring a lady-in-waiting for Aksinya, Natalya
8. Travel, to Hungry
This plot isn't exactly as straight forward as many of my novels, but in my opinion, all of it flows from the developed characters. The only point that isn't perfectly obvious is the travel of the characters. Within the novel, I explain why travel was necessary, but the history of the time really required them to travel (Russian Revolution, WWI, etc.). The antagonist is actual and direct within the novel--Asmodeus. Compare this with Centurion where the antagonist is implied. In Aegypt, the antagonist starts distant, but becomes actual.
The actual antagonist is an antagonist who exists within the novel as a character and who directly interacts with the main character.
The distant antagonist is an antagonist who works against the protagonist from afar. They don't need to act directly against the antagonist, for example, a distant antagonist can be a malevolent person who works against every one's interests.
An implied antagonist is an entity, a government, a system, an organization, and all, that acts against the protagonist. In Centurion, the antagonist is implied. It is variously the world of the Centurion. In this case, Abenadar, the Centurion, is contending against his world and his place in it.
I'll write more about characters and plot tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.