Ooo! What a juicy question. Since I write predominately YA short adventure stories, I’m mostly in the mindset of the protagonist, the young teen who will change the most and be the hero of the story. In a lot of my adventure stories, the physical antagonist is a wild animal or weather or natural phenomenon, like an avalanche or a fire. That’s not to say I don’t have a sibling or bully causing external problems too. There also needs to be an internal “antagonist” of sorts in the form of something bothering the protagonist; like a personal fear or lack of courage to do something, or an unwillingness to change.
Even so with such a tight word count, usually 1800 words, I only have word space for one perspective.
So how does the writer get the perspective of the antagonist onto the page when writing on a limited word count?
The writer does this through the protagonist’s perspective. The protagonist projects his or her own feelings about the bully, the mean sibling, that natural phenomenon, or even the protagonist’s personal fear to the reader. In other words, the protagonist interprets what all the action, inner struggle, or problems mean to the protagonist, who’s driving the story and must solve the story problem, especially in children’s fiction.
In order to go beneath the surface of the story, the reader needs to see how the action or problems, affect one person—the protagonist. If the writer chooses to write through the perspective of the antagonist, the story needs to be affecting the antagonist the most.
As a writer, which character is more interesting to speak as; the protagonist or the antagonist? Again, I think it’s important to see how what’s happening in the story affects each of those characters. It’s what the story actually means to a character that adds depth to the story, that helps the readers connect with the character. Ultimately, that’s what makes the story distinctive.
I can’t wait to see whose perspective you prefer to write through and why. Thanks for visiting! Please follow Adventures in Writing if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in your comment so I can be sure to do the same for you.
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.