Introducing the antagonist.

shamguy4

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The first time I introduce my antagonist is in the first chapter. I have it written through her sidekicks eyes. He is the pov.

First impressions are important. I’m a little afraid that because it’s through her sidekicks eyes the readers might not realize that she is evil. After all the sidekick doesn’t see her as evil. I try to put her in a bad light, I even have her kill someone by chapters end.

I thought of writing it through the eyes of the person she kills but it seemed like we can learn more about her through the side kick.

Is it difficult to show the antagonist through the eyes of someone who adores her? You might not realize she’s the main antagonist by just reading this chapter. And I don’t want to confuse the readers or lead them astray at this early point.
 

Jo Zebedee

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The first time I introduce my antagonist is in the first chapter. I have it written through her sidekicks eyes. He is the pov.

First impressions are important. I’m a little afraid that because it’s through her sidekicks eyes the readers might not realize that she is evil. After all the sidekick doesn’t see her as evil. I try to put her in a bad light, I even have her kill someone by chapters end.

I thought of writing it through the eyes of the person she kills but it seemed like we can learn more about her through the side kick.

Is it difficult to show the antagonist through the eyes of someone who adores her? You might not realize she’s the main antagonist by just reading this chapter. And I don’t want to confuse the readers or lead them astray at this early point.
Why not put it on critiques and it would be easier to know if it works?
 

Brian G Turner

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Sounds like you could benefit from reading Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, which deals with story structure and character development, and this issue comes up explicitly. From your other threads, it sounds like you're not too clear on the technicalities of writing, in which case watch the Brandon Sanderson writing lectures on YouTube and read Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer. :)
 

K.S. Crooks

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Show different ways the character is evil. In killing a person you should show the manner and reasons as being evil. Perhaps explain a little about the person being killed. You can also mention why the sidekick came to be working for the main villain or why they have stayed working for them. Choose the ultimate level of evil you want the characters to have, then how much you want to show in the first chapter. There could be two focuses, how evil the main antagonist is and how infatuated or dependent the sidekick is on them.
 

shamguy4

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Thanks for the responses!

Overnight I came up with some ideas to make it more evident that this is the antagonist. I will have the news playing in the background letting you know someone has been kidnapped. The victim is sitting in the room tied up with the antagonist so I think that will help.
I have a few more ideas.

The issues is that my antagonist is evil, but quite regal. Almost like an evil queen or something like that. She is very well poised and you might think on first meeting her, that she is well mannered. However you will soon learn she is the devil.

Why not put it on critiques and it would be easier to know if it works?
Sounds like an idea I should try. I'm just always afraid to give away any part of my main story publicly because of course i think its absolutely amazing and someone will steal it lol. :p. I know I am crazy... But I love the story I have and think its great and unique.
I would have to change the names and some of the sentences to mask some things. It took long to come up with some of this stuff ya know? My antagonists name is very iconic... And the setting is quite interesting...
At some point I will have to start posting chapters and getting critiques I guess.
Do you mask parts of your chapter if you ever post it?

From your other threads, it sounds like you're not too clear on the technicalities of writing, in which case watch the Brandon Sanderson writing lectures on YouTube and read Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer. :)
Ouch! I think my writing is pretty good.... I think... I hope.
My issues are in plotting and whether I should have it all down before i start writing and wondering if my writing process sucks. However the actual writing I don't think is so bad...
I've seen some of Sanderson's videos. Good stuff. Which videos did you have in mind specifically?
I can also look into this book Save the Cat. Thanks!
 

Paul Meccano

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Hitler had side kicks that either loved him, or didn't, with newspaper articles often defiling him abroad (for obvious reasons) – sometimes articles were discovered in Germany, mostly underground. Many took issue to his lead ending up dead bcause of it.
There are many ways your Antagonists sidekick could be seen to disagree, or agree with the plausible arguements of their bosses. A good chapter could spell it out emotionally without undermining either party, if wished.
Know your intentions, then spell them out however you want.
 

sknox

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Why have you chosen a sidekick for the POV? And why is the sidekick himself not equally evil? Is he too dense to see what she is? How does he justify her evil actions to himself or to others? Is standing outside the antagonist, but close to her, important to how the plot is structured? How would it go if you wrote the opening chapter from the antagonist's POV?
 

Wayne Mack

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Why not let the reader discover the nature of the POV character? Is the character simply evil or does the character have an unorthodox rationale for the character's actions? Leaving the reader with an ambiguous interpretation of the antagonist is not necessarily a bad thing.
 

Brian G Turner

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My issues are in plotting and whether I should have it all down before i start writing and wondering if my writing process sucks. However the actual writing I don't think is so bad...

This is exactly what i mean - technicalities involves structure and similar issues, which you may find helpful.
 

shamguy4

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Why have you chosen a sidekick for the POV? And why is the sidekick himself not equally evil? Is he too dense to see what she is? How does he justify her evil actions to himself or to others? Is standing outside the antagonist, but close to her, important to how the plot is structured? How would it go if you wrote the opening chapter from the antagonist's POV?

The sidekick is being mentored by my main antagonist. He lets us see what they are up to without giving away the plot. Seeing into the antagonists mind would ruin the story!


This is exactly what i mean - technicalities involves structure and similar issues, which you may find helpful.
I got Save the Cat!
I got the "writes a novel" version as its rated well and newer and well, for writers.

I'm reading it now. So far I like it. Thanks
 

Juliana

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Personally, I love an unreliable narrator, though it can be hard to pull off and do well. If you can get it to work, the adoring and blind-to-faults sidekick as POV could be amazing, especially if it's very clear that we (as readers) are NOT seeing the same thing that they are.
 

JS Wiig

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The general thought is, the first character your readers are introduced to becomes, in their minds, the main character or protagonist.

If you are introducing the antagonist's side kick in the first chapter, your readers may latch onto that character as the protagonist, and become confused early on in the story.
 

shamguy4

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The general thought is, the first character your readers are introduced to becomes, in their minds, the main character or protagonist.

If you are introducing the antagonist's side kick in the first chapter, your readers may latch onto that character as the protagonist, and become confused early on in the story.

Well many books I have read have a prologue with the antagonist. I use this to set up the beginning and let you know something awful is about to happen. It creates conflict pretty fast.
 

JS Wiig

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Well many books I have read have a prologue with the antagonist. I use this to set up the beginning and let you know something awful is about to happen. It creates conflict pretty fast.

Yeah...

Another "tip" I've seen batted around quite regularly, is for early stage writers to kinda skip the prologue and get straight to the story.

But if it works for your story, by all means...
 

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