The Antagonist’s Story

When I sat down recently to take a look at Abigail Rath Versus Blood-Sucking Fiends after Taos, I tried a few new things. The first thing I did was look at each of the scenes using a scene analysis tool that Walter and Nancy had shared with us. That helped me clear up some of the desires of my protags, but I wasn’t getting the overall feel for the plot that would move the story forward as much as I liked.

So, then, I did something new for me. There are two antagonists in the story, ostensibly the people’s whose actions were going to push the entire engine. Then, for one of those antagonists, there were two characters that were acting directly under her orders, one of which would do some antagonizing of his own, and the other who wasn’t going along with the plan, which made her an antagonist of a different sort.

I plotted out the story according to the ANTAGONISTS. What were the action beats? Where did the antagonist want to make things happen? How did the PROTAGONISTS then react? And take counteractions.

In this way, I am aware of the entire story now.

Well, that worked. Now if I could just find some time to write the thing. Luckily, the full time administrator gig segs nicely into the teaching administrator gig next week, and each week has about 10 hours of writing time plugged into it. I hope to have the first third cleaned up and solid next week. The other two thirds will require some real revision, but hey, at least you (and I!) are not likely to be bored now.

Interestingly, by focusing more on the antagonists, you also end up with a more rounded protagonist, because the protagonist has to change to get around the antagonist. Go figure. At least in this story.


Off to orient some students. First stop, paying for some pizza. Have a great day.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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