Antagonist Lock

I did a lot of work on my antagonist a few months ago, mostly in the form of notes. First I figured out who he was and how he fit in a general way into the story. I did this by brainstorming names until I found one that fit. Then I wrote the name at the top of a blank page and asked “Who are you?”

Later, after I had a little bit of info, I was able to give him motivation and a concrete goal. Then I twisted it to put someone important to my plot at risk. That’s as far as I got, except I sort of know how he gets caught and one or two things that have to happen before that.

What I didn’t know was how to incorporate him more completely with my characters. They’ve met, of course. I put him in the first chapter and he’s made appearances a few times since. But they are easily missed because I don’t want to telegraph “This is the murderer!”

So yesterday I did the McKee exercise and there in the final opposition I found out how he was going to ingratiate himself further into the story. It’s perfect. It strengthens the betrayal, makes everything worse. And I would not have figured it out if I had not done that exercise.


  1. This is interesting, Cindy … I write so little fiction, but am awed by your process. And I’ve thought a lot about how hard it would be for novelists and screenwriters to flesh out their anti-heroes! Keep writing — can’t wait to read when it’s finished.


  2. You know Cindy today I did some research and took some notes and wasn’t going to try writing a scene this morning, but your cheery words “Keep Writing” made me turn on the word processing program and write a scene! So thanks.


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