1. John Carlo
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    John Carlo Active Member

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    Antagonist vs Forces of Antagonism

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by John Carlo, Feb 9, 2013.

    Hey all,
    I'm currently in the beginning stages of outlining a novel. The last book I wrote had a clear antagonist, but this one not so much. Is it okay to have forces of antagonism without any of them being the main one? It feels right to me, I just want to know if there are any general guidelines out there I'm not thinking of.
     
  2. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do whatever works best for your story. There isn't any specific way to go about it - there are just lots of open-ended roads. It's completely up to you which way you want to go with it.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story needs conflict, but conflict need not be against a person.
     
  4. John Carlo
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    John Carlo Active Member

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    Thanks Cogito. Words I will live by now.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    An antagonist doesn't have to be a person. For example, in the movie The King's Speech, there is no villain. The main conflict is between the King and his speech impediment. Sure, there are arguments between the King and his speech therapist, but there's never any doubt that the therapist is on the King's side and is trying as best he can to help him. The story is very dramatic and doesn't suffer from the lack of a personified villain at all.
     
  6. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    And don't be shy to do new stuff. Spend your time liberally.
     
  7. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    I prefer stories in which the characters are pushed forward by chance, folly and cause and effect rather than a sinister plan.
     
  8. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    As Cogito said, the conflict is the important part. That conflict can come from within. Consider "The Tell Tale Heart" - there is no antagonist per se, but guilt drives the plot.
     

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