Okay, well I didn't mean to press enter, but whatever! Enjoy this unfinished brainstorm... :redface: How-to infectious narrative. Define protagonist & antagonist. What if I told you that those definitions did little to nothing in regard to actually creating narrative? You may have to stop & think about it, but two words come to my mind: micro & macro. The utility of conflict is all but thrown to the wayside when we, as writers, assume the relationship between protagonism & antagonism occurs only in macroscopic form. I believe that this macroscopic classification of the protagonist/antagonist relationship hides a more useful understanding. In order to fully utilize these two forces as literary tools, I am going to ask you to try to look at them in a different light. Simply put, I'm going to try to explain how to turn your understanding upside down. I do not imply that what I am about to present is a more accurate definition. I only wish to share a way in which I find more sense. I find that individuals struggle most with the flow of action. I blame Literature textbooks & their half-hearted interpretations of agony. When we strip all personification from our 'agonists' we come to understand that the 'bad guy' (as it were) actually produces the 'good guy'. While the 'antagonist' may or may not show its face, the truth is that the overall force of antagonism is indeed most often utilized as a tool of circumstance toward the development of the protagonist. "agony" is synonymous with "action" & hence we derive "actor". But I want you to throw out all personifications. Try to understand protagonism & antagonism as tools of circumstance. A very good alternative word (instead of agony) would be pathos: proto-pathos, anti-pathos. Instead of trying to transcribe actions & images, utilize passion as your primary form of transcription. Try to understand that the first-agony is a force driven toward its compliment, its anti-agony. Instead of conjuring heros, pluck heartstrings. (seriously, I accidentally posted this before I was entirely finished & now I've stumped myself... curse you ADD! I was going to say something about the balancing act between reader/author & how 'agony' should be thought of as a knife with which the author punctures the reader & by way of periodic twisting, the author is able to create the fundamental setting of any work... but that is just one angle. I was also going to write about how fluid the use of this is. It is a polar system. it doesn't have to be a knife, it could be a cute bunny rabbit or something. it's more of a way to write & keep writing. I was also going to write about how to use the proto-anti agonist conflict machine for more interesting purposes, like establishing engaging environments (social, spatial & otherwise) but what the heck, I messed up =\ ) some major analogies I wanted to make were along the lines of... a protagonist can consist of any conflict (primary conflict in readers head is always 'what happens next?') & while the antagonist may or may not be directly related to that conflict, it ultimately cancels it out. So on the microscopic level, you could be falling from atop the highest mountain & the antagonist could be whatever circumstance replaces that particular image (e.g. SPLAT). The idea is to utilize these points to establish pace within your narrative (hence PATHos). Essentially, what you're doing is blowing/popping bubbles in the narrative & this generates a sort of sub-physical beat to dance on. now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to go hide in a corner.