This post is inspired by a thread on AbsoluteWrite talking about antagonists. The thread actually got me thinking more about the antagonists in my current WIP and I’m amazed. Why? Because I have so many!
Warning: This post will be rather vague, with mentions of MC1, MC2 and A1 (which means Antagonist 1), as opposed to actual names. Why? Because I like to be mysterious!
My current WIP is a sequel. The goal is to start off with people liking MC1 and disliking MC2 at the end of the first book. By the end of the book, I don’t want to switch perspectives completely, but I want people to start understanding MC2 and perhaps even rooting for her. This WIP has three different storylines, following MC1, MC2 and MC3. Each chapter is dedicated to another MC.
- MC1 finds herself in another dimension, where she meets A1. A1 isn’t an antagonist by choice, it’s just that what he wants and what’s good for the rest of the world are polar opposites. He’s what I call an ‘accidental antagonist’. He’s stuck in this hellish dimension, and he wants nothing more than to be free and live in our world. Unfortunately, that means impending doom for all. But his drives and motives are relatable, and my hope is that the reader feels at least somewhat sorry for him.
- MC2 is her own worst enemy. She constantly sabotages herself by thinking she’s not good enough, no one will ever love her, and constantly comparing herself to MC1. Plus, she has powers she has trouble controlling, anger management issues, paranoia and she pretty much still hates MC2. But she starts to feel guilty. The guilt sweeps in gradually, and she starts to feel conflicted over this as well. The question here is if MC2 will be able to conquer her own feelings and guilt, and become a better person, or not.
- MC2 also meets another antagonist, A2. He’s actually the character I’m rooting for the most right now. He wants what everyone wants – to love, and to be loved in return – but he can never get that, just because he is what he is. He’s willing to go to great lengths to try to achieve this though. This antagonist isn’t as much an antagonist towards MC2 (he’s interested in forming a team with her, while she is conflicted about it) but he’s an antagonist toward everyone else.
- MC3 meets another antagonist, namely A3, which is a conceptual and abstract antagonist. MC3 has to stop the colliding of two dimensions, because if she can’t demons will roam the earth, all hell will brooke loose, you get the picture. So the third antagonist is actually an event.
The main connection between all three storylines is the conflict between MC1 and MC2 (who becomes the antagonist in this relationship) and MC3 holding the middle between them. Then there’s also conflict between A1 and A2, which will probably form a major theme in the third book, and of course MC3 vs. the apocalypse, and MC2 vs. MC2. I particularly enjoy writing the storyline involving MC2. Such an intriguing character. MC2 has conflicts with practically everyone around her, including herself.
So yes, I have a lot of antagonists in this book, however nearly none of them are villains. A1 and A2 can be considered ‘villains’, but their motives aren’t just to do evil. For A1 it’s freedom of choice, whereas for A2 it’s all about love. Then A3 is an event, more like some sort of supernatural disaster, so you can’t consider that a villain as well.
Now, to explain the title of this post, check out the music video of Club Villain by Your Favorite Martian on YouTube. It’s hilarious.
Who is the antagonist of your WIP? Is there even one? Are there multiple antagonists?