I’m working on the rest of the book now, back in Discovery Draft, but I’m far enough along that I need to know What Would The Antagonist Do?
I have my antagonists. There are four separate groups working on the island, all chasing four wildly different goals with wildly different motivations and led by wildly different people. Unfortunately, I can only have one Antagonist, Nita’s opposite number, the person who’s the greatest danger, the one who’s manipulating the other sub-antagonists, the person Nita will face in the obligatory scene. And praise the Girls, I figured that out. Now all I have to do is develop character and plot a bunch of turning points.
First I have to make sure they’re all serious antagonists and that at least the last one is smarter than Nita, stronger than Nita, and more ruthless than Nita. I can make one or two of them minimally hapless since I have so many, but they’ll be the first ones defeated (one has already gone up in flames at the first turning point). The real Big Bad is the one I have to take most seriously, know as well as I know Nita and Nick, and find a way to like and root for. He or she can’t just be the Big Bad, the antagonist has to be a fully developed character. I’m not sure I’ll ever like this character, but this one is fun to write, so that may be good enough.
Then I have to plot the turning points for each of the antagonists. That is, I have to know the events that occur in each antagonist’s plot that turn that character’s story in a new direction, events that are concurrent or at least closely aligned with Nita and Nick’s turning points. Why? Because this book is crazy with plot and the only thing that will keep it from getting away from me is to tie it down at those plot points. Once I have those four scenes for each antagonist, I’ll have an event to write to as I noodle around, something to aim at. And since there are four turning points and four antagonists, it makes sense to knock an antagonist off at each turning point, clearing the field so that the last turning point, the climax, is only with the real antagonist, Nita’s opposite number.
Which is why I’m currently surrounded by sheets of graph paper with squares and arrows and colored inks and a blank calendar, trying to figure this out. Once I get past the messy part, I’ll map it in Curio. And in the meantime, I’ll keep writing. All of which is to say, there may not be a lot of posts this week, although the Good Book post and the Cherry Saturday post are already set to go. As always, feel free to talk amongst yourselves in the comments. That’s where the good stuff always is anyway.