In a writing workshop I recently attended, the presenter took us “back to the basics.”
If you’ve been writing for awhile, periodically it’s a good thing to revisit the essential elements of story.
The terms “protagonist” and “antagonist” are about as basic as it gets.
Let’s look at their definitions and what those two elements have to do with a well-written story.
The protagonist is the hero of the story—the central character whose journey we follow throughout the book. He’s the “good guy”. The one we cheer on. The one who experiences set-back after set-back, but emerges victorious at the end.
The antagonist, is the villain. His role is to block the hero’s progress toward his goal at every turn.
The cruel step-mother.
The demanding boss.
The rival for the hand of the princess.
Whoever they are, it’s essential that they do their part by providing those set-backs or road blocks to the hero on his journey.
It is this struggle to overcome that moves your story along to a satisfying ending.
Note: The inciting incident, another basic, was discussed in a previous post, entitled “Creatures of Habit.” You can read it under ARCHIVED POSTS.