Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lesson 12: Antagonist Continued

Good Tuesday...and it is at that! The phone lines in Conklin are improving, I got service restored at my shop yesterday. Yahoo! I can visit the net during the day...and not have 89 emails to look at when I get home!

Okay...Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel. This is a fabulous book and I encourage each of you to buy it. What I'm presenting here is by no means a full lesson and there is a wealth of insight and addtional info that will help you.

In case your just joining us...What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: Antagonists Outline.

This is a continuation of yesterday, because I don't like to make the lesson too long...it makes me want to fall asleep, so I know it messes with ya'll!

Today we're going to do an exercise to develop the antagonist. The person we love to hate!

Step 1: What makes the antagonist the top on your dislike list? What's their biggest problem, conflict or goal?

Step 2: What does the antagonist want most in this world?

Step 3: What is the second plot layer for the antagonist?

Step 4: Name the five important steps toward your antagonists goal, or towards resolving their central problem or conflict. In other words, what are the five events, actions, or high points, of the antagonist that you could not possibly leave out.

Step 5: Name the three important steps toward, or away from, the antagonists' greatest need.

Step 6: Using the above material, outline the entire novel from the antagonist's point of view.

Note: If your novel doesn't have an antagonist, who or what opposes your protagonist. What if it's internal. Can that internal conflict have a life and personality of its own?

Follow-up find five new ways in which your antagonist can advance his/her own interests. Let these be actions that have nothing to do with your hero.

Conclusion: We don't usually think about the antagonist's inner journey...Humanize your villain. Motivate his/her actions with kindness. Let him/her be heroic, helpful, and principled...let evil wear a compassionate face!

Now this bit of fun is specifically for the ladies today...have at it girls!

Great Female Comebacks

Man: "Haven't we met before?"
Woman: "Yes, I'm the receptionist at the VD Clinic."

Man: "Haven't I seen you someplace before?
Woman: "Yeah, that's why I don't go there anymore."

Man: "Is this seat empty?
Woman: "Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down."

Man: "So, wanna go back to my place ?"
Woman: "Well, I don't know. Will two people fit under a rock?"

Man: "Your place or mine?"
Woman: "Both. You go to yours and I'll go to mine."

Man: "I'd like to call you. What's your number?"
Woman: "It's in the phone book."

Man: "But I don't know your name."
Woman: "That's in the phone book too."

Man: "So what do you do for a living?"
Woman: "I'm a female impersonator."

Man: "What sign were you born under?"
Woman: "No Parking."

Man: "Hey, baby, what's your sign?"
Woman: "Do not Enter"

Man: "How do you like your eggs in the morning?"
Woman: "Unfertilized !"

Man: "Hey, come on, we're both here at this bar for the same reason"
Woman: "Yeah! Let's pick up some chicks!"

Man: "I know how to please a woman."
Woman: "Then please leave me alone."

Man: "I want to give myself to you."
Woman: "Sorry, I don't accept cheap gifts."

Man: "I can tell that you want me."
Woman: "Ohhhh. You're so right. I want you to leave."

Man: "If I could see you naked, I'd die happy:
Woman: "Yeah, but if I saw you naked, I'd probably die laughing."

Man: "Hey cutie, how 'bout you and me hitting the hot spots?"
Woman: "Sorry, I don't date outside my species.."

Man: "Your body is like a temple."
Woman: "Sorry, there are no services today."

Man: "I'd go through anything for you."
Woman: "Good! Let's start with your bank account

Man: "I would go to the end of the world for you.
Woman: "Yes, but would you stay there?


  1. David Meigs said...
    I’ve never done an exercise of such a scale as you suggest. But I can see where it would helpful.

    Great series!
    Rulan said...
    Great lesson. I really like the idea of Step 6: Using the above material, outline the entire novel from the antagonist's point of view.
    Anonymous said...
    man bashing again?? Ouch.
    Denise McDonald said...
    I will try this exersise... I have been having trouble w/ one of the bad dudes - but isn't that the way it's supposed to be!?!?!
    Bernita said...
    Priceless comebacks, Bonnie.
    This exercise is harder to do if you don't use the villain's POV..
    Bonnie S. Calhoun said...
    I doing the exercis right now too, Curm!

    Getting the antagonist's point of view gave me a lot of stuff for his chapters!

    Ric...men always prime the pump of female reality...LOL!

    Dennie, I made people feel sorry for my bad guy...before he turned into a poop!

    Bernita, my novel isn't from the antagonists POV either. But I do have specific chapters that are in his POV. I am using alot of what I gleaned from the exercise to fill in his parts!
    Georgiana Daniels said...
    Great idea! Makes me wish I'd thought of it BEFORE I'd completed my novel. Oh well, that's what editing is for, right?
    Anonymous said...
    I need to get that book. Thanks for doing these posts.

    The female comebacks were a hoot! Thanks for making me laugh out loud. Needed that.

    WannabeMe said...
    Man: "I'd go through anything for you."
    Woman: "Good! Let's start with your bank account"

    HAHAHAHAHA. You're a wise woman, Bonnie!
    Soul Reflections said...
    Loved the comebacks. I might use them someday. Yeah, right. Did I tell you I'm not writing anymore? I don't have time. I'm too busy reading blogs.

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