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First Draft: Crafting Antagonists

In last week’s episode, I covered crafting protagonists, so I couldn’t very well forget about the other side of the coin, the thorn in our protagonist’s shoe… the antagonist.

I enjoy crafting antagonists. As a reader, I love to read a well rounded antagonist, and I look to recreate that in my own stories.

Here are my tips on crafting antagonists:

Motive

I believe this is a vital point. A villain believes they are the hero of their own story, right? Let the reader know why your antagonist is the ‘bad’ guy of the narrative.

Their reasoning can be skewed or a twisted version of what is right, but it is still a motive.

History/ Back Story

What in their history led them to this moment? This closely links in with motive. What turn of events/ incidents made them believe that what they are doing is right? It can be a lot of little moments that finally broke them, or one major trauma. As long as you show the reader the why, they will more readily accept your antagonist.

Believability

Just like I explained in the crafting protagonists post, your antagonist needs to have realistic flaws and good traits. An angry man, hell bent on world domination with no hobbies, loves, or other interests is like a stereotypical, cartoon villain. Just like your protagonist, your antagonist’s motivation can be love. It may be twisted, but it is love all the same. Every person has light and dark in them.


Do you like crafting your antagonists? What are your tried and tested tips to achieving a well rounded, believable character?


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first draft

New Blog Series

It’s new blog series time! Let me tell you a little more about what I have in store…

The series is called First Draft because each week I will focus on a different topic to do with writing the first draft. This is the series idea that was chosen by my readers as one they wanted to see on Writerly Bookish Stuff.

I have chosen my topics and scheduled them, ready for kick off on July 17th!

July 17th: Forming the Idea

July 24th: Naming Characters

July 31st: Point of View

August 7th: World Building

August 14th: Crafting Protagonists

August 21st: Crafting Antagonists

August 28th: Character Development

September 4th: Beating Procrastination

September 11th: The Ending

September 17th: Leave it Be

I hope that discussing these topics will be of help to some. I am working from my own drafting experience, so please understand that your process may be different to mine, but I will try to cover most bases, and hopefully, there may be some tips that you can take away from each instalment.


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EVO Ghost, Writing and Me

EVO Ghost Update 05/05/2017

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Whoo, what a month April was. I did complete CampNaNo, but I couldn’t post an update due to having broadband issues for 10 days!! Yep, I was having withdrawal. Any hoo, I am back with a bang, hence the flood of book reviews I have posted.

CampNaNoWriMo

I reached 25k with a few days to spare. It was touch and go for a little bit, but I slogged through it and came out a winner. Whoop! What does this mean for EVO Ghost? Well, I thought I would be close to finishing, and I am 25k closer, but I think there is another 20k left until I can sign off on the first draft. I can see light at the end of the tunnel now, and Teddie has told me how this will play out, so I’m all guns ablazing.

Muse-ic

I had good fun tweeting daily muse-ic inspiration throughout CampNaNo, so I plan to continue along a similar thread. In these posts I will include a favourite track of mine that I have been writing along to. First up, Katy Perry’s Rise. This song sums up Teddie at the moment. I can’t stop listening to it because of her. There is even a line that perfectly captures her…

‘Can’t write my story. I’m beyond the archetype.’

Yep, yep, and yep. This is how I feel about writing Teddie’s story most of the time. I hope I do her justice in EVO Ghost.

There is another, more emotional, line that puts a lump in my throat…

‘I call on my Angels. They say, ‘Oh, ye of so little faith.”

Those of you who have read the first two will know who Teddie’s angels are. *Sob*

What’s next?

I will continue on with the first draft. I hope to have another 20k written by June, but I may be punching above my weight with that target. When the first draft is done and awaiting a redraft, I shall do a cover reveal. I have had this cover ready since last year- nearly a whole twelve months ago to be exact. I’m itching to show you all the final cover in the series.

Excerpt

I’m having to be really picky with these excerpts because I’m worried about spoilers.

“Impartial counsel time,” he states. I nod my head, blinking back tears. “Do not go into this mission with revenge as your motivator. Justice is what you seek, and fighting for justice will hold you steady. Justice for those who have suffered, those you have lost, is more satisfying than revenge.”

“I don’t see the difference.”

“You will when and if the time comes. Justice will ensure that you can live with yourself after all of this.”


Did you partake in CampNaNo last month? Do you have a writing playlist? Drop me a comment!


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CampNaNo

CampNaNoWriMo Update: Week Three

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This week has been a rollercoaster ride on the writing front. On the 17th, my NaNo stats showed that I was 7 days behind schedule. That was approximately 5.5k words to catch up on. I found myself in a bit of a self-doubt slump, but by some crazy umph of writing spirit, I not only caught up, I am now on track to reach my 25k target before April 30th. Whilst typing up my handwritten bits and bobs from the Easter holidays, I realised I had written a lot more than I thought I had. Plus, finishing an important, emotional chapter has made these past few days a writing blur. I’m not sure how much sense I will find in what I have written, but the words our down.

Word count: 19,730/25k

My drafting music for the last seven days:

15th:

16th:

17th:

18th:

19th:

20th:

21st:

An excerpt from this week’s drafting:

“That was reality,” I say. “Don’t forget that. Just because it’s a lovely moment in the midst of a load of crap ones, it doesn’t mean that it was any less real. We’ve got to live now in case we don’t get our chance later.” I tuck his book under the pillow and slide my boots on.

“You will get your chance to live later. I’ll die to ensure that,” he says. The feeling in his words makes my stomach knot.

“That would sound really romantic if it wasn’t my worst fear.”

Are you participating in CampNaNoWriMo, and how are you finding week three?


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CampNaNoWriMo Update: Week Two

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Another week has gone. “What?” I hear you fellow CampNaNo participants cry. Yes, we are half way through April and I have no idea how that happened. Again, I have been busy with keeping my six year old entertained throughout the Easter holidays, but I have had a productive writing week. At the beginning of the week, I started falling behind on my daily targets, and then I missed 48 hours of writing altogether. The last part of the week was my redemption. Call it a spurt of inspiration, but I got myself back on track in just 2 days. Phew.

Current Wordcount: 10,923/ 25k

What have I been drafting to?

8th:

9th:

10th:

11th:

12th:

13th:

14th:

Excerpt:

“If you haven’t noticed, we’re at war. We’re fighting for our lives and freedom, people are dying, and some are still in those centres that these guys rescued a good percentage of you from. Yet, here you are, whinging and moaning because you can’t wash every day, you’re tired, you’re hungry. Well, guess what? We’re all hungry, and we all stink, and we all want to not be able to smell the latrines, but we’re lucky that we are eating, we are safe, and we have got a hole to crap in. Do me a favour and show some damn respect for the three people who are holding this mess together.”

Are you participating in CampNaNo this month? How has your experience been so far? Feel free to drop me a comment.


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CampNaNo, EVO Ghost

CampNaNoWriMo Update: Week One

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Week one has been and gone, and surprisingly, I haven’t faired too badly. At the beginning of the week, I had a little panic because I was falling short of my daily targets, and with my little one off school for Easter, I wasn’t sure how I’d rectify it. Perseverence was my way forward. I trudged on even when all I wanted to do was browse Pinterest and eat cake.

Word count:  5854 of 25k

I have been posting my daily drafting music to Twitter, and decided that I would recap the list here on my weekly updates. I usually fixate on one song that inspires, motivates, or sets the tone for what I’m writing at that time and will listen to it on repeat.

1st:

2nd:

3rd:

4th:

5th:

6th:

7th:

Now, it’s time for a cheeky excerpt from this week’s writing sessions:

“Chill out. I just mean that she could disappear into the sunset and leave us all to it. What difference does Theyda Leason make to our mission tonight, tomorrow, or whenever? We have four able bodies on babysitting duty, instead of where they’re needed. Why are you so important?”

I hold my hands out. “When you find out, let me know.”

He laughs a little. “See, that’s just it. If the woman herself doesn’t even bloody know—”

I point a finger in his face. “Hey, don’t twist my words. I don’t know what difference Theyda Leason can make, but I’m damn sure that I want to be a part of whatever is about to go down. I don’t want a babysitter any more than you want to babysit, yet here we are.”

Stay tuned for my updates over the course of CampNaNoWriMo. Are you participating this month? Do you have a playlist that gets you through the drafting stage? Feel free to drop me a comment.


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EVO Ghost, Writing and Me

Update: 30/03/2017

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It has been over a month since my last update, and with CampNaNo just days away, I thought I’d sum up my writing journey over the past 5 weeks.

Word Count

My promise to write everyday during March has been fruitful. I only missed about five days due to commitments, and some of my word counts were little more than 100 a day, but little by little I managed 15.5k words. I’m happy with that, considering this month has been hectic. There has been more birthday parties, school parent’s evening, school science display afternoon, Mother’s day, treats out, volunteering on school trips, and song presentations. Not forgetting, my asshole of a cough. Yep, some of you may know that I have had a time of it with colds and coughs. 6 weeks later, I’m still coughing but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m feeling much better, and there is no threat of me coughing up a lung.

Reading

I have been catching up on my reading of late. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff wouldn’t let me go, so I read when I should have been writing. Sometimes, we’ve just got to do these things, right? Also, I was honoured to receive an advanced ARC of Brianna West’s final book in the Promiscus Guardians Series, Resurrection. I have been patiently waiting for this book whilst West did other things. (Oh, you know, have a baby and what not.) Seriously though, the woman is a power house when it comes to writing.  Again, I couldn’t put the book down. Damn all the brilliant storytellers distracting me from my writing!

CampNaNo

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m a NaNo prepper because I’m not, so I can’t use that as an excuse. That being said, knowing that I’ve set myself a 25k word count for April has left me a little complacent on my March writing. I don’t want to burn out, do I? Hopefully, CampNaNo will see me nearly finished with my first draft of EVO Ghost. *She says tentatively.* I shall not be doing another update post for a while as I shall be doing weekly NaNo updates. Keep your eyes peeled for those.

Excerpts (EVO Ghost only. I have done zero writing on Zombie Playlist.)

EVO Ghost: (sorry for the short teasers, but spoilers…)

Throwing my bag over my shoulder and readjusting the black wig, I make my way to the truck. Rafe places a hand on my chest. “Are you sure you’re ready for this?”

“Since when does Rafe Lloyd pander to anyone?” I say, sliding passed him. Looking over my shoulder, I throw him a half-baked smile. “I’m fine.” I know I’m kidding myself, but it’s not going to change the fact that this needs to happen. I have to leave the safety of The Hive, and today is the day.


One of the women leans a little closer to me. “You’re not what I expected.”

“Despite what Towley would have us believe she doesn’t have horns and a thirst for blood.”

The woman shakes her head. “I expected someone polished- sharp and shiny around the edges. You’re a bit of a mess, no offense.”

I shrug. “Little offends me now.”

She throws me a wink. “You’re human and that’s reassuring, even if you are coming apart at the seams.”

Am I that obvious?


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