It’s Antagonist April, and all this month, I’ll be doing a deep dive into those characters that give our heroes and main characters opposition to their goals. This week, I’ll provide three writing exercises to explore antagonists further.
Let’s get started!
Last week, we looked at the antagonists from three different films. Now, it’s your turn to write your own Case Study.
Pick a movie, any movie. It can be your favorite film or one at random. Watch it from beginning to end, just experiencing the film as a whole. Next, rewatch the film, focusing on the story’s antagonist closely.
ANTAGONIST’S NAME: Who are they?
RELATIONSHIP TO PROTAGONIST: How do they know the hero? Are they a love interest? A boss? A friend? A coworker? A universal threat?
THE ANTAGONIST’S ARC: Here’s where the work comes in. How are you introduced to the antagonist? Outline their interactions with the protagonist, lines of dialogue, and actions that indicate their opposition. Does their relationship with the hero change throughout the story? What is the antagonist’s goal? Motivation? Why do they oppose the protagonist? How does the antagonist’s story end?
THE ANTAGONIST’S FATE: Where does this oppositional character wind up by the end of the story? Have they been defeated? Arrested? Killed? Compromised with the hero? Found common ground or understanding? Fallen in love with the hero? Note that here.
COMMENTS: Any thoughts or revelations about the antagonist and their role in the story can be added here. This is a place to wrap up your analysis with anything you didn’t see directly in the film.
You can also use this to analyze antagonists in novels, short stories, and plays. I have included a .docx template below you can use.
Back on Wednesday with another Antagonist-themed writing exercise! See you then!