1. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    385

    Struggling with figuring out how to finish my antagonist's story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by BlitzGirl, Oct 21, 2018.

    I've been mulling over the ending of my story for a long time now, and nearly all of the important pieces I need are there. However, one piece that continues to evade me is the antagonist's fate. He's been such a pain in the protagonist's side, and has inflicted so much tragedy, that I want to show him receiving his comeuppance. Whether that means he dies or is thrown in jail to rot for the rest of his miserable life, I haven't decided, but the protag needs to see or be involved in it to bring her peace of mind. I really don't want him to meet his fate "off-screen", with how important his role in events has been and will be.

    Here is the timeline of events, as I currently know them (subject to change, of course):
    1. The protag, Kaina, finally has the proof she needs to tell the king that the main antag, the captain of the guard (and the king's right hand man), is involved in both destabilizing the peace and the king's wife's mysterious miscarriages (by way of having a spy getting in a position close to the queen and poisoning her discreetly). The king has been so disillusioned lately that he doesn't believe Kaina's claims and thinks it all to be a conspiracy by the temple to remove him from power (long story short, he'll be quite bananas/inconsolable at this point in the story).
    2. This leads to the captain, acting in his own interests, to send a force to the temple under the pretext of the king's conspiracy theory. There, priestesses are wantonly murdered, and Kaina's own mentor/mother figure is fatally injured. Kaina, a priestess herself and in connection with their god, the Phoenix, prays for help, and the Phoenix himself comes in and burns the attackers to death with his fire. I really haven't decided whether or not the captain will be caught in the fire, for the next bullet-point lays out where I'm conflicted...
      1. So here is where I have multiple, conflicting ideas. Either the dust settles (with the captain killed by the flames) and Kaina has to come to terms with all of the death and destruction and losing those she cared about, only to then learn that the Phoenix was injured in the attack and fled...or, the Phoenix was captured and she has to save him, finding him badly injured...or, Kaina herself is captured and has to escape (these two scenarios would involve her coming face to face with the antag and dealing with him in whatever way is appropriate). Each possible plan has its own pros and cons, and really would determine how the main antagonist, the captain, would meet his fate. I know that I'm currently not making any sense right now, but this is driving me crazy!
    3. Regardless of which of the three paths I decide to take, Kaina knows she has to seek the Phoenix (who will flee, badly injured, either way, instinctively making for the sacred mountain on the other side of the desert where he will die and be reborn. But if he doesn't make it to the mountain before he succumbs to his wounds, then the cycle of rebirth will end and there will be an unending eclipse). But before she embarks on such a dangerous quest, she visits the boy she loves in order to say farewell, in case she doesn't make it back. But he inevitably decides to go with her, and they whip together a small group on short time. The rest of the story, the final stretch, is these characters traveling across the desert, finally reaching the mountain, and Kaina doing what she can to help the Phoenix make the last leg of the journey before he dies. (Spoiler: It will be a success, and as far as I'm concerned, the story's last threads will be wrapped up in a final chapter after that, with maybe an epilogue/denouement showing how Kaina's life changed after everything she had been through.)
    So...that is me trying my best to explain my situation as briefly as possible. The captain really needs to be dealt with, but I would prefer that his fate be decided somewhere between Kaina's visit to the king and her journey out of the city. Of course, I could make the journey across the desert a chase scene, and have the final showdown with the captain occur there, but...that seems a bit cliche to me for some reason. It's still a backup idea, in case all else fails. And I 100% realize that my roadmap of the story's climax and ending can change and be revised at any point, but this is what I've decided upon...for now.

    Am I just crazy and not making sense here?
     
  2. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman Extradinor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    3,189
    Likes Received:
    4,977
    Location:
    Badlands
    Hmmmm... I am concerned by the King, sounds like he will be replaced soon enough as it is. Maybe that can play into it with a Duke or some inquisitor helping Karina.

    Maybe spies of a Duke help finish of the captain has an "accident" .

    sorry, I'll mull over this some more but for now this is my initial thoughts. :)
     
  3. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    938
    Location:
    England
    In my opinion, your MC being captured - although sometimes unavoidable - is never a position that you want to be in from a writer's perspective. Since it relies on the MC being rescued (forcing them into a passive role, and risking a deus ex machina type appearance to the reader), or making the captors completely incompetent (which can come off contrived and a bit like cheating), both of which have a high risk of not sitting well with readers. So I'd avoid being put into that situation where possible, unless it's either unavoidable from a plotting perspective or with a specific reason in mind.

    It sounds as though you have other options: if she is the rescuer, that puts her in a more active role in the story. Just depends from a cost/benefit perspective whether you can justify in terms of page time as well as personal time invested in writing your MC masterminding a rescue, and what that would achieve (from character development perspective), versus her just finding the Phoenix later.
     
    BlitzGirl likes this.
  4. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    385
    Good points. I already had a scene in the second third of the story where she is captured by bad guys and, yes, rescued, but that was for a good reason as it relayed important information to her and confirmed some of her suspicions about the greater conspiracy plot. So, you are right, I shouldn't use a similar situation again (even though in this situation she would be the one to rescue herself, but, yeah...).
     
  5. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    14,959
    Likes Received:
    16,608
    Location:
    Scotland
    It would seem that your antagonist, if he survives the attack, might want to prevent the Phoenix from being reborn? If this captain ALSO left the city with bad intentions towards the Phoenix, could this maybe trigger something that would kill the guy? Either the Phoenix kills him, or Kaina and her group kill him?
     
    BlitzGirl and John-Wayne like this.
  6. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    385
    Oh yeah, he definitely wants that. I've been slowly building up to the revelation that he's the leader of a shadowy group (no pun intended) that wants nothing to do with the religion that worships the Phoenix. In fact, where I am now in my rough draft is where I'm starting to develop their motives and such.

    I was considering the idea that he tracks them into the desert, if my other ideas for his fate don't pan out. I just hope no one would find it too cliche. Lots of fantasy stories have a bad guy stalking the good guys and coming to a final clash. But, it WOULD be in his character to do so, especially as he loses his mask of being a simple captain the further along the story goes.
     
  7. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    I sometimes like to give my antag a fatal flaw that causes their demise. So if he is greedy or power hungry hang a lantern on that throughout the story (or whatever his motivation is), then you could have him die going after the Phoenix. It depends whether you want to get blood on your protags hands on not. Either she and her group could kill him, or the Phoenix could.
     
  8. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman Extradinor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    3,189
    Likes Received:
    4,977
    Location:
    Badlands
    This might have been mentioned, but as Kaina is praying to the Phoenix, the Antag interrupts her and as he makes his move to kill her, the Phoenix shoes up in a glorious display of flames and reduces him to cinders, burning him from within , flames shooting out of his eye sockets, mouth and ears, his skin turning into fire as he screams in horrific pain.
     
  9. Maggie May

    Maggie May Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    91
    Do you plan a sequel? Do you want to use the same Antag or create a new one? Perhaps she has a little fire inside, when it comes to protecting the Phoenix. In a crisis people can sometimes have bursts of strength.... just a thought.
     
  10. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    385
    If I ever did a sequel, it would be chronicling what happens to the characters and the country after the events of this story. I'm planning on wrapping this one up pretty tightly, if possible.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice