The Agony of the Antagonist…

The antagonist (or villain, if you prefer) is almost the most important person in your story.  There’s an old saying that “the stronger your villain is, the stronger your hero must be.”  As an example, would Luke Skywalker be as much of a hero without Darth Vader?  Or would The Batman be as formidable if he didn’t have Ra’s Al-Ghul to face off against?
A hero of the caliber of a Superman, as an example, can’t exert his full power against someone like the 1950’s villains Toyman or The Prankster. {The thing is, this was the point: the strongest man in the world has a great deal of difficulty dealing with someone weak but ingenious…}
The weaker hero needs to bring his or her game to the next level to cope… and the villain’s job is to make this as close to impossible as he or she can. How the hero overcomes the obstacles – which should increase in size and difficulty as the story progresses – is an exercise for the reader, who should be writing his or her own script.
As was said a while ago by someone famous whose name I forget, “Anyone who can be discouraged from writing – should be.” If you can’t get by the negative comments, you may not have the right temperament to be a writer. (This is not necessarily a bad thing, you realize.) Or, if you are determined to continue, it would behoove you to work on developing a tougher skin. Constructive criticism can be your friend… destructive criticism is a set of speed bumps in the highway of your life. You may not be able to avoid them entirely, but you can minimize the amount of damage they do.
This strength you need to show is the same kind of strength your antagonist needs to show. Someone who perseveres in the face of doubt, of ridicule, of active (and passive) opposition… this is the person who will force your hero to be better in order to prevail.
Go get ’em!


About alexanderfilmworks

I write, shoot, direct, edit, design, and try to promote film stuff. It's what I do.
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