1. MDWriter
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    MDWriter New Member

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    protagonist and antagonist

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MDWriter, Mar 22, 2015.

    Hi

    Might be a silly question, none the less I'll take my chances and ask?

    How important is it to have a protagonist in the book that you are writing?

    For example my Antagonist, or rather the way the story has been written, doesn't really need to have one as such. However towards the end of my story a protagonist is introduced.

    Just thought I would propose this question as there is rather a wide speculation of different guides to go by when doing a google search.

    Which is very confusing to the new writer , ie Me :)
     
  2. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    A protagonist and antagonist are not separated by whether they are evil or not. An antagonist inhibits the protagonist's ability to achieve his or her goal, so an antagonist cannot exist without a protagonist. So your question could be rephrased as whether an antagonist is needed. A protagonist must face some difficulty in reaching his or her goal but it doesn't necessarily have to be a human providing that difficulty, so I'd say no.
     
  3. MDWriter
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    MDWriter New Member

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    Oh dear, I guess I should have read what I wrote before hitting the enter key. I had it around the wrong way. My main character is the Protagonist, it was the Antagonist that I was meant to be questioning. However, you have answered me in spite of my over site to not read what I wrote. Thanks for that :)
     
  4. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    If you have a story about an antagonist who is trying to achieve his goal, and later in the story a protagonist comes up and tries to stop him, then that person, I think your antagonist might actually be your protagonist.
     
  5. Midge23
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    Midge23 Member

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    I agree with Ben, there must be something that antagonises the attempts of your protagonist to reach their goal but it does not have to be an actual person. There must be obstacles for your protagonist that cause conflict, which could be their own internal weaknesses, society as a whole, or even the weather. Introducing an antagonist character later on I think would be fine though, depending on the story, I might like to retrospectively see their hand in some of the problems that your protagonist faced earlier in the book.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    A human antagonist isn't necessary.

    Remember that old man vs man, man vs society, man vs nature, man vs self categorization? The first "man" is the protagonist - hard to write a story without one of them. (impossible? I'm not sure). But the second part of the categories is the antagonist. It's what's keeping the protagonist from reaching his/her goals.

    You could have multiple antagonists - maybe the character is running away from the bad guy and has to fight through a dangerous forest AND conquer his own self-doubt while he's doing it.

    Essentially, you need conflict in a story, or it's not a story, it's just some stuff that happened.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Basically what others said. There has to be some central conflict. Your protagonist has a goal that he/she desires to complete for whatever reason (money, love, justice, revenge, family, home, etc.) and the antagonist is simply the entity (or entities) that tries to stop him/her from achieving it. Take Old Man and the Sea. The antagonist was simply the sea and the fish the old man (the protagonist) fought against to get to his goal.

    It doesn't have to be grand and epic. It just has to have an antagonist or two who wants to see the protagonist (or two) fail and will do everything in their powers to do just that. Once you have that, voila! You've got a conflict.
     
  8. MDWriter
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    MDWriter New Member

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    Thanks for all your answers, however after the first reply was made I realized I had it around the wrong way and it cleared everything up for me. Thank you again for the answers everyone :)
     

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