Antagonists And Their Role In Stories

By Frank Woods

Many of the best stories in fiction have both an antagonist and a protagonist. The protagonist is the hero or the main character in the story that we like to cheer on and hope conquers all. The villain in the story would be the antagonist.

The ones we love to hate are the best bad guys. We don't need to know why they are bad, we don't need a play by play of the choices they made early in life, we simply recognize they are bad and we don't want them to win.

A story can operate without an antagonist; however the use of an antagonist is the best way to demonstrate conflict within a storyline.

A well executed work of fiction that keeps readers tuned in and provides friction is conflict. The antagonist in most cases will reign supreme through the majority of the storyline. The reader wants the forces of good to triumph, yet the villain remains in charge of the bulk of events that thread through your tale.

Creating suspense and causing your reader how exactly the protagonist will gain an advantage is this combination of good versus evil.

One of the primary benefits to fictional conflict is the reader is often forced to consider how they might respond against such odds and in similar circumstances. During a best case scenario, the reader will be assisted by the story in learning more about themselves.

To disrupt a normally predictable plot, conflict can also be used. By presenting conflict that is, in many ways, worse than the previous conflict you can instill a greater desire for evil to be defeated while keeping the reader guessing where the story may be headed next.

Resolution should ultimately be provided in the story. This resolution process for the fiction writer of faith often provides the simple message that good will win over evil but working their way through your text, sometimes without you being consciously aware of their presence, are other threads of faith.

If you allow the antagonist to loose the struggle too early in your story it becomes anti-climactic and the fire in the story is reduced to an ember that may leave your audience cold.

When it comes to conveying a story with elements that will emotionally involve your reader, the use of a villain, may it be human, political, ideal, or animal, can go a long way.

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