Day 18 of 30-Day Tarot Writing Challenge: Antagonist’s 2nd Display of Power

30 Day Tarot Writing Challenge

12 more days—12 more days and we cross the finish line? How are you doing so far with your Camp NaNoWriMo project?

I can’t believe we’re already in Day18.

We are racing toward the Climax of the story, and within the next week we’ll be looking at how to outline that Climax, the sacrifices that will be made by your characters, and all that fun stuff.

However, today we are going to look at your Antagonist’s second display of Power.

On Day 15 we examined the first display of power in which it showed your character what they were up against, and acted as a source of determent. This told your MC that it’s just not even worth their time to go against the antagonist because they will just fall flat on their face when they miss the mark.

But now comes the second display of power, and this happens after the turn. And instead of intimidating your MC and scaring them off, this display of power spurs them on. After this, your MC knows more than ever that they must overcome this antagonist come Hell or High Water (whatever that phrase is), or die trying.

This means that the display of power has to be personal, and it has to be bigger than the first display of power.

2nd Display of Power Spread

Because this display of power is meant to have a personal affect on the Main Character, both a signifier for the antagonist and the MC should be used.

Day 18 of 30 Day Tarot Writing Challenge

Cards 1, 2, & 3: The Event

The first three cards you draw are going to be read together to represent the actual actionable event that shows the power. You can read this how you will—as a sentence, as a series of events, or as individual elements that come into play within a time frame.

Card 4: Direct Effect

Card 4 represents the direct effect the event has on your MC. This might be that the event injures the MC, takes someone they care about, affects their family, etc. However, affect will act as throwing fuel on the fire when it comes to momentum of the plot.

Card 5: Initial Response

Like the first display of power, there is going to be an initial response from your MC which may or may not be in line with the appropriate response. This is where you examine whether or not they recognize what’s going on, or if they’re quick on the ball and react out of anger when instead it should be action against injury, or running when they should be chasing.

Card 6: Developed Understanding

Once the initial shock has worn off, or once the event has had time to sink into the MC’s brain space, then a new understanding of what they’re up against takes over. Again, this second act of power is meant to inspire the MC to action, more so than they may already be.

Now, unlike Day 15 when we looked at the first display, the developed understanding from the second display might give your MC insight into how they defeat the antagonist. Keep that in mind as you look at this card.

Card 7 & 8: Antagonist’s Next Step

The display has been made, but what does your Antagonist do next? Card 7 gives the very next step that the Antagonist takes toward their goal. Read these cards in combination to gain greater insight to what this next step could be, keeping in mind that they now have the upper hand.

Card 9: MC’s Recovery

While your MC doesn’t necessarily need loads of time to recover, there does have to be some time to process and plan. This can be as much as ten minutes, or it can be ten weeks—in the right story it can be ten years. But this card indicates what’s happening during that recovery. This might be mentally, this might be emotionally.

Card 10: MC’s Next Step

Keeping in mind that your MC can no longer ignore the antagonist if that’s been their tactic thus far, Card 9 is about what your MC does next toward the demise of the Antagonist.

Check out Day 19: Demise of the Mentor

My Accountability

My Antagonist is represented by the 9 of Pentacles, and my Protagonist is represented by the 8 of Pentacles. As the top five cards relate to the Antagonist and the bottom five cards relate to the protagonist, I put the signifier for the Antagonist at the top and the signifier for the MC down at the bottom.


Cards 1, 2, & 3: The Event

There of course has to be a fight, though I think that it’s going to be an illusion, one which plays on the past traumas of Percyval, my MC. These are indicated by the 5 of Wands and the 9 of Swords. However, the past trauma that it’s going to play on is something to do with his family life (10 of Cups). Considering that Percyval lost his first wife who he loved enough to keep as a continual partner for life (despite it being illegal), that’s going to be what my Antagonist plays on.

Card 4: Direct Effect

The Page of Wands. What I think the direct effect will be is that it sends the MC back to the mentality of when he was first married. There is a newness, a passion, and most importantly a youth to it, which as a result diminishes his maturity to handle the situation in front of him. He falls for the illusion.

Card 5: Initial Response

Death. In this card, as with any of the Rider-Waite-based decks, there are people falling dead before the image of Death on a horse, and those begging to not be taken. Percyval relives his wife’s death, and begs for her not to be taken, to be taken instead.

Card 6: Developed Understanding

In this context, what this makes me think of is actually that scene in the first season (or is it the second season?) of GoT (spoiler if you haven’t watched it! Skip to the next paragraph if you want to avoid this) when Daenerys sees Drogo alive and she has to walk away from him.

The 8 of Cups is what I got for this position, in which someone is walking away from their situation onto the unknown. The illusion I think does show her living, or something along those lines, and then the MC realizes that it’s a trick, and he has to walk away from her.


Card 7 & 8: Antagonist’s Next Step


For these two cards I got the Knight of Swords and the 10 of Coins. I think this is where she kills the Mentor. So far the Percyval’s Mentor has been her father, who is the represented by the King of Swords, and thus, I think that her younger energy is what destroys him. She then takes over his place, which is large as he’s a lord, which is what’s represented by the 10 of Pentacles (the domain, not the taking over).

Card 9: MC’S Recovery

This is an interesting situation. I have the King of Pentacles. I see the Court Cards of the Pentacles to be somewhat slow moving, methodical. I think in this, Percyval is taking his time, he’s planning. But furthermore, he’s putting the skills he’s learned as the figure of the 8 of Pentacles to use, incorporating them into his plan to defeat G (my Antagonist). This will be interesting, since his skill is to create magical binding wedding dolls and rings for marriage ceremonies.

Card 10: MC’s Next Step

His next step is to juggle. Honestly, I think I’m actually going to keep it at that. He will literally juggle like the 2 of Pentacles in this position. There’s actually a reason behind this. If G has killed his Mentor, then this card is resonating to the time when he and the Mentor met. On Day 5, in the position of how the MC and the Mentor meet, I drew the 2 of Pentacles. There has to be a connection there in the story.

How is your project going? I’d love to hear all about it. Let me know in the comments.

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