Life in progress

Advice from Kristen Lamb

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Excellent advice about your antagonist!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

One of the biggest mistakes most new writers make is they don’t understand the antagonist and how antagonists are used to drive plot momentum and ratchet up the stakes. Without true antagonists, there is no way to generate dramatic tension. One of the “outs” many writers try to use is “Well, my protagonist is his own worst enemy.”

Yeah, um no. That’s therapy, not fiction.

All stories need two types of antagonists:

The Big Boss Troublemaker

Since the term “antagonist” confuses a lot of new writers, I came up with the term, BBT. If the BBT is something existential (like alcoholism) then it needs to be represented by someone corporeal. In WWII, the Allies weren’t fighting fascism, they fought HITLER. Concepts need a FACE.

Scene Antagonists

Often allies and love interests will provide the scene conflict. Protagonist wants A, but then Ally wants B.

Today, we’ll use a “My protagonist…

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Author: Linda G. Hill

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