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  1. Marloy
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    Marloy Contributing Member

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    Antagonism?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Marloy, Jun 19, 2008.

    Antagonism ?

    I've been working on my story for about 2 years now. I have the central theme, the plot, the protaganist, the characters, etc. I've currently restarted (again) because of certain problems with the way it's starting to flow, but I just realized that I have only planned out the story to the middle and after that I will be absolutely free-falling into nowhere because I'm not sure where to go. I also noticed that, even though I know the obstacle that my character is facing, there is nothing to back it up.

    What I'm trying to say is I don't have an actual antagonist. I know that the obstacle can come in any shape or form, whether it be that the main character is their own antagonist or that the bad guy can be an animal, or even something non-living like trying to ride a bike. But all I have is something that is bad and keeping the MC from reaching ther goal, nothing more.

    All it is is an evil force that has nothing to back it up. I fear that if I try to give it personification or make it an entity it will come out as one of those clich├ęd "evil-overlord" types.

    My question is, is there any way to pull off a story that has no real antagonist but is just something bad and is keeping the story consistent? I find there will also be problems when creating the climax and confrontation because, there is really nothing to confront.

    Help would be appreciated! :)
     
  2. Night
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    Well, it sounds to me like you have your protagonist fighting against a power greater than himself. Maybe fate, or power, or destiny? If that's the case, then you need to make your character unlock something within himself to defy the odds against him. Sorry if this answer doesn't really help. . . do you think you could give a little bit more detail about this evil force?
     
  3. Marloy
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    Marloy Contributing Member

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    Sorry, I thought that might be needed.

    Actually, there are many other elements that are in the story like fate, and the power is greater than my MC, but the central force isn't any inanimate object or emotion within. It's more like this:

    There is a certain person that has been sought after for a lengthy amount of time by some of the most threatening "players" (a whole other story) in the ancient trek to find it. When it turns out that this is actually someone very close to the main character, she is forced to become one of the seekers of that person.

    She later learns that there is actually a very mysterious and powerful reason for these happenings, and that there is a "force" that is making this person imprisoned.

    That's where the antagonist comes in, or whoever/whatever this may be. If I was to say that this was some guy named Lieutenant Misery it would ruin the entire story. I feel I just want it to stay a "force", but I have no idea how to go about this, generally because these things need a cause/causer.
     
  4. PipeandPen
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    PipeandPen Senior Member

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    Another way to think of it, perhaps, would be to consider a multiple personality disorder or a paranoia, because if you can maybe free write some things about these two "obstacles." This might help you deal with the idea that it is a malevolent "force."

    I think this is a very possible thing to do, but keep in mind, it may be a good idea to find away to personify the struggle with the malevolent "force." Perhaps, through a very simple metaphor like losing feeling in the MC's hand. Try not to over complicate the story to get this struggle to come out is what I was trying to get at. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Conflict comes in two broad categories - external and internal. Your battle against an external force is an external conflict.

    However, internal conflicts arer often more interesting, at least to me. Dealing with doubts, fears, incompatible goals, need vs. morality, are internal conflicts that give characters depth and the opportunity to grow.
     
  6. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    It is possible to symbolize a malignant force without giving it a "face," per se. When this forces acts upon the character, does the rest of the world react in a certain way? A chill in the air? Animals behaving oddly? Or perhaps your MC notices a certain unusual item every time. A single withered rose; a dead bird; a swarm of insects. Or a smell could be the trigger, or the sound.

    Your MC will have to gradually come to recognize that there is a force acting against him, instead of just "coincidence." If you work the trigger subtly into your description early on, and then make it more overt as the story progresses, your reader will experience the gradual realization and horror along with the MC.
     
  7. Marloy
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    Marloy Contributing Member

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    All of these sound very well to consider. It gives me a lot more to think over.

    This has really been bugging me for a while and I find that sometimes it's even possible to go at it with more than one method, so I could end up using many.

    Thankyou for the helpful advice, it is much appreciated (because this kind of drives me crazy)! :D
     

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