A is for Antagonist in April | #AtoZChallenge

I have to admit I only found out about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2017) today, having been out of commission for a week and a half with balloon head and cotton brain, brought on by some nameless March virus.

Allison Maruska posted her Theme Reveal five whole days ago. By the way, this looks like a fantastic A to Z topic lineup that I’m definitely going to follow. Allison, Dan Alatorre, and some other bloggers have already released their A-posts.

While I grapple with the rules of the challenge and my own Theme Reveal—what theme can I sustain for 26 letters?—here is today’s A post, with a Haiku poem tossed in for good measure.

A is for Antagonist

Haiku: Antagonist

Wherever I turn,
His form arrests my purpose–
Always the same face.

The antagonist is an important person in your story.

The prefix anti means against. The antagonist’s desires and goals run against the protagonist’s.


Just as your protagonist is a whole character with desires, motivations, strengths, and flaws, the antagonist is a similarly three-dimensional character who also tries to accomplish something—either gain it, avoid it, or prevent it from happening. The antagonist should have a personal agenda, reasons for his or her actions, and these actions should come with consequences.

This personal agenda conflicts with the protagonist’s goals, making life for the protagonist difficult and often miserable or dangerous. The protagonist and antagonist engage in figurative or physical combat, opposing and obstructing one another in emotionally tightening concentric circles toward the climax.

A powerful antagonist has his own personal story, and we can relate to him. What if he is not simply an aggressor? What if he is also a victim?

More information: 10 Traits of a Strong Antagonist by Janice Hardy

All the posts: Components of Literature A to Z

B is for Balanced Sentence and Beer

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning disorders and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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16 Responses to A is for Antagonist in April | #AtoZChallenge

  1. I’m glad you decided to jump into the challenge! I like your take on antagonists. It’s hard to remember that they need to be as 3-dimensional as our protags.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished a writing course which explained how important the antagonist is. Great A choice, and welcome to the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Antagonist Weighs as much as protagonist. Very nice haiku as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Theme Reveal: Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2017) | Beyond the Precipice

  5. Eek! You reminded me I was going to do this! Well, it’s only the 3rd, and the 2nd was a Sunday, so I think I can probably catch up . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sure you can. Go for it!

      I found out part way through April 1. Had no preparation, hadn’t thought of a theme, but I dove in and it’s coming together now. (My theme reveal is posted on April 2, lol.)


  6. Pingback: F is for Foiled Again! | #AtoZChallenge | Beyond the Precipice

  7. Shailaja V says:

    Such a compact haiku and a lovely description of how an anatgonist works in fiction. I’d love to see layered interpretations too, where the protagonist must act as an antagonist at times to further the plot or his own motives. Complex characters fascinate me. Glad I found you via the Reflections post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JJAzar says:

    “A powerful antagonist has his own personal story, and we can relate to him. What if he is not simply an aggressor? What if he is also a victim?” That’s exactly what makes an antagonist compelling, in my opinion. When one begins to question the hero’s purity because of sympathy the antagonist evokes, THAT is the mark of a strong “villain.” Of course, this mustn’t always be the case, but it is a strong case. Great post, Eva.

    Liked by 1 person

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