My WIP, a YA fantasy called "First Fairless" was beating me up pretty good. I'd thought I'd plotted it out.
I mean, I'd filled a notebook for crying out loud! So how could the story suddenly fall apart? All that momentum, that inspiration just vanish?
Thinking it must be a plot issue, I read and re-read KM Weiland's posts on plot and character arcs, which helped, kinda? I tried for the bigger picture - writing more notes on what must surely happen in the second half of the story to be resolved. I understood this character - I loved this character -so why, why couldn't I sit down and write???
Why? (spoken in my most pathetic little girl's voice.)
After more struggling, more teeth grinding, I full-on admitted it must be writer's block. Time to read more posts on that, which didn't help at all. I felt worse, in fact, and began to question my skills as a writer and my future as an author.
Flash forward to one long car ride with my teenage son. We've always shared a love of storytelling and his insights and reflections are often brilliant. His first question was the only question he needed to ask.
So, Mom, who's the antagonist?
Good question and one I could barely answer. I had a general idea of the society's structure, which was an opposing force against my protagonist. I had a general idea of the antagonist--a creepy Sage working for the High Diem.... But really, who was the antagonist??
I pulled out my notebook, revitalized and determined to figure out this antagonist, it hit me... why I'm stuck... and the revelation is changing the way I will approach writing forevermore.
Let me explain.
Here is the question I'm facing now...
What is the antagonist's goal and how does it impact Phila? This understory drives the second half of my book. So much happens without Phila's knowledge - but I, as the author, have to understand and know this information. And even more important, I have to incorporate the antagonist's goals into this story when it's written in the first person and the MC is clueless about that agenda.
My next few posts will focus on baddies and how to weave their story into a first person narrative in hopes that it'll help other authors experiencing the same issues.
I close with a side note and one that's telling. I chose a random bad dude for the header image in this post, a generic scary clown, and a specific image for my MC. That pretty much says it all.
I guess I still have work to do...