1. Darkbynight
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    Darkbynight Member

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    Turning my reluctant ally into the antagonist

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Darkbynight, Apr 24, 2016.

    So, up to this point in my story, the guy I want to turn into the antagonist have been a part of the main group of friends in the book for a few months, tolerating the sole woman (who is the MC) in the group. The crux of his hostility is the fact that he's a "Men's Rights Activist" nutjob and he refuses to see female gamers as anything but groupies and "fake geek girls." (I should probably point out that it's a group of gamers and role players.)

    It's at the point that another woman joins the group that I want him to start turning from member of their group to antagonist, but my dilemma is this: In your opinion, what would a transition like this look like?

    He is a reasonably intelligent young man who is a Junior in college and I am conflicted in how badly he is going to react to not even having a choice in the matter. I want there to be a confrontation of sorts, and I need him to be on the enemy team at a tournament near the end of the novel, but I also don't want anything to happen that will damage his future or hurt any of the group members.

    My question is, when would you write in the confrontation (as soon as the second female character is added to the group? After he has had time to stew on it / complain to his internet friends?) and how would that confrontation go? (Picking a fight with the team? Confronting the Game Master off page? Something different entirely?)

    I am not looking for a complete solution but if perhaps you had any thoughts to how you might handle a confrontation like that, I'd love to hear it. :)
    Thank you for your time.

    (Also, I am new here, as you can see, so if I've misunderstood the use of this forum section and this is something I should have posted in the workshop or somewhere else, I apologize and I will request it moved or deleted.)
     
  2. Callista Reina
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    Callista Reina Member

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    Hi Darkbynight, welcome to WritingForums! I think that, to address your problem, you need to delve into your "reluctant ally turned antagonist" and let his personality dictate his actions. Is he the type that stews over issues before confronting others? Or is he more temperamental and apt to address an issue immediately? If female team members really upset him, maybe it would make sense for him to confront the Game Master one-on-one right after he finds out about the second female member. I am imagining an angry, "who let her in?!" confrontation in which he lets off his anger, but gets told that he is being ridiculous and can't do anything about it. Then maybe, having been put in his place, he'd stew about it a while and possibly start causing problems in his group, which could eventually lead to his joining another team. But again, this is just what came to my mind when reading your post and you know your character better than I. I think it mostly depends on how you have characterized this guy and how he typically deals with conflict. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
     
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  3. Darkbynight
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    Darkbynight Member

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    Thank you for your thoughts. I've had a chance to sleep on it. I'll probably try to write the scene a couple of different ways to see what sticks. The reason this character has no choice in the matter is that the new member is the GM's cousin, so I figure there might be an ultimatum that backfires. (From the antagonist, not the GM.)

    Also, I apologize for the use of the word nutjob in the OP. By the time I regretted it and wanted to change it to a more neutral word, I'd lost the ability to edit the OP.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
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  4. Avalon McSoley
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    Avalon McSoley Member

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    Don't know how far you've gotten since you last posted, but this was my immediate thoughts when I read your post:
    What if the new girl-gamer is a complete feminist of some sort who challenges his ideals, go into open discussions with him about it, and atop of that she's a better gamer and keeps beating him in his favorite game. She doesn't have to just be a neutral character only there to represent a female, what if she actively works against him as well? She could even ask her cousin to throw him out, and the cousin would be torn.

    Just my immediate response...
     
  5. Darkbynight
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    Darkbynight Member

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    Thank you for the reply. I decided on a drawn out falling out. He's asked to leave when the new girl is introduced, after making a bit of a scene. After a couple of chapters he will return for game night but will be distruptive and after a bit of an altercation is told not to come back.
    Your suggestion about her being better at gaming is actually in my plans already, with a big tournament near the end of the book.
     
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    By the way, you don't ever lose the ability to edit your post. Just click 'edit' which should appear in a blue font, at the bottom left corner of your finished posts—along with Delete and Report. (You won't see this prompt on anybody else's post, only your own, and it will only appear after you have actually posted the original.) When you're done making the changes, just click "Save Changes" and you'll be fine.
     
  7. Diane Elgin
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    Diane Elgin Member

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    The problem with this suggestion, Avalon, is that it stacks all the elements of conflict on the side of the MC. Great for a real life reference to bash down the assertions of misogynists. Not great for a story where nail-biting conflict is the key to hooking your reader. Ideally, your antagonist is equally or over-matched with the Main Character, forcing the MC to develop through repeated collisions until they eventually overcome their opponent.

    Anyway, to answer the original question, turning your ally into an antagonist is a case of providing a conflict of interest between the two. If you're definitely starting off with the MRA Character as a perceived Ally, you want to slow cook some hints that he's not being particularly helpful in order to foreshadow his turn. If you make him a Healing/Support character (which would make a nice contrast as they're typically seen as 'Feminine' game roles, although he could argue he's the foundation/centrepiece of the group), you can demonstrate MRA's tension by having him slow to react when she requires aid in battle, sighing at her calls for help, while being perfectly pleasant to any other member of the team. This, along with some short comments out of the game world and the puzzled looks of their mutual gamer friends, suggests to the reader that something isn't right.

    Then, during a game, maybe your MC screws up. A misclick costs the team victory in battle and this is the straw that breaks the camels back. A foul-mouthed tirade, 'We never should've let her in here', 'Not fit to wear my Cassock', etc. until the rest of the group calm him down. Then, during another practice session, you have MC make the same mistake again and the MRA Character gets up and walks out. Later, the MC turns up to his house to try and talk things out but his parents, a success-driven trader and a servile house-wife, inform him he's gone out somewhere. Then, the next time you see him he's part of Team Enemy.
     
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  8. Darkbynight
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    Darkbynight Member

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    Diane, that actually gave me a few good ideas. The game they play is table top role playing, with all of the role playing sessions actually being a sort of parallel side story in the book, but I could incorporate something like him refusing to specifically help the MC and other female character as the reason for the final confrontation, Which also gives me a reason to have the new member step up into his role while having to play the same role entirely differently. (He is the tank of the group.)
    And I also like the idea of the MC or perhaps the entire group showing up at his house only to find out he has found another group and is set on continuing to antagonize them.
    Thank you for posting. :)
     
  9. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any kind of character change is possible as long as it's got a solid motivation. You know your character best, so dig into his past and find the events that affect him in such a way that he'll switch sides.
     

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