Hopefully your momentum is still running strong! I know I’m wavering a little bit but that’s alright. That’s what Camp is for. It’s helping us form those good habits so that we can develop a writing routine that fits us, and help us get used to producing words—and hopefully those words contribute to a story!
Today and tomorrow we’re going to look at the Antagonist. The Antagonist should in some way reflect the Protagonist, that is, your MC. While, yes, in some instances the protagonist is their own antagonist, this is for the external antagonists out there. However, that’s not to say that the antagonistic qualities of your MC can’t be personified and developed in this spread as well.
For this spread, you’ll choose 2 signifier cards, one which represents your MC and one that represents your Antagonist. If you don’t already have these two developed, then you can draw a card each for them.
If you’re picking a signifier for your Pro- and Antagonist, then select something that might represent them at the beginning of the story.
Card 1 is going to represent the goals of your Main Character while Card 2 is going to represent the goal of you Antagonist.
Card 3 is what is getting in the way of the Protagonist’s goal, while Card 4 is what’s getting in the way of the Antagonist’s goals.
The thing about the Antagonist is that your Protagonist is likely your Antagonist’s Antagonist. So, when looking at what is crossing these two characters, consider how that builds the other.
A good Antagonist and Protagonist relationship shows that they have something similar to each other. There is something that binds them. In Harry Potter there were many things that made Harry similar to Voldemort—both had dead parents, had twin wands, etc. In things like zombie, werewolf, and vampire movies, the thing that makes them so terrifying is their element of human resemblance. In X-Men Professor X and Magnito were both mutants and of the same time period.
When you’re looking at each set of character, compare their card positions. How does the Protagonist’s goal compare to the Antagonist’s? Are they the same? Are they different? Can their conflict be that they want the same thing but have vastly different ways of going about it? Professor X and Magnito both want a mutant-friendly society, yet go very different routes to obtain that goal.
If you’ve read this section at all in any of my posts, you’ll know that my Protagonist is represented by the 8 of Pentacles. It’s kind of set at this point, just as my Antagonist is the 9 of Pentacles. And as I’m writing this, it only literally just occurred to me that my Antagonist is the next card in the deck.
What my Protagonist, Percyval wants is the 10 of Wands. It almost seems redundant at this point, but he just wants to work hard and go about building a name for himself via the business he’s about to take on.
What my Antagonist wants (she has yet to have a name, I really should get on that. She’s so far just been referred to as G) is the 10 of Swords reversed. She’s kind of the black sheep of the town. Her dad’s kind of weird but in a position of power, and has ideas that differ to the ways of the society they live in. Thus, she kind of gets gossiped about, doesn’t really have any friends, yet she’s always surrounded by people. Power attracts people, and she has plenty of it. But they’re not friends. G just wants away from all of it.
What’s hindering Percyval is the 7 of Swords (which is also a recurring card in similar positions for my MC), which is the sneaky business he’s involved in with G. T
What’s hindering G is the 4 of Swords reversed. She’s gone through a lot with her position, and it just doesn’t let up. She has no space to heal and recover from the B.S. she’s been through.
Their similarity is the 10 of Pentacles. We’ll just ignore the part where it’s the next card in the deck after Percival and G—just kidding, we won’t! Percyval’s mentor is G’s father, which would be the next card in line (ish). However, that’s not the only thing they have in common. The two characters also are in a position of carrying on a legacy. Percyval is looking to carry on the business that has been promised him, while G is the daughter of a Lord, and as such, must pass on the name.
How are your protagonist and antagonists developing? What are you finding about their dynamic? Let me know in the comments.
Be sure to come back tomorrow when we look at how to develop the antagonist.
Here are some helpful links: