My husband and I returned from an exploration vacation of Holy Land sights at 1:30 yesterday. While we had a fabulous experience, my brain hasn’t coalesced into proper perspective of our shared adventures… Laundry clutter, the crapload of mail, and personal fatigue block clarity. While Hope, Anticipation, and Enthusiasm shaped our perspectives pre-trip, now Perspective is mired in jetlag and slog.
The question posed this first Wednesday of the month: What perspective do you like to write from best: hero/protagonist or villain/antagonist and why? has parallels to my state of mind and spirit pre- and post-trip, I think. Let me explore and explain.
The hero of my stories is always a ‘shiny penny’, just as I am before a trip. My husband and I anticipate no travails or jogs in the path, hoping – well expecting – a sweetened trajectory of our lives. We expect to enjoy renewed synapses, refreshed spirits, and to learn and benefit from all connections made.
Now I’m just tired, discombobulated, and weary. Jetlag is a villain and for the next several days, it will hold sway.
It occurs to me that the villain/antagonist also has goals, enticements to the story, and something worthy (to him/her) to gain in a story’s initial pages. This character feels he/she is the hero of the story and will do anything to prevail. One should yield to this ideal to write an effective story.
From the onset of my creative writing phase (can one call it a career if little money is made?), I’ve written multiple POV novels. My brain was strongly pre-wired with empathy so I can perceive the other person’s feels, interests, and desires. Even if I do not agree. I’ve always written a full profile, a dossier if you will – or even whole chapters which remain in the story. My antagonists declare themselves strongly, just as the protagonists do. Both can be unreliable narrators… just as we all are in life.
I often think antagonists or anti-heroes are juicer and over-the-top saucy, so I give them their say. Even if their remarks remain behind on the cutting floor, their actions and pronouncements force the protagonists/heroes to up their game, to please me, the writer, and to entice readers to keep turning the pages.
Here’s the cover of my latest novel which features three longtime friends, mired in middle age, Middle America, and other people’s problems, a state which many women may relate to. Each of them has heroic qualities. Each of them has villainous actions and intents, though none at the same time. Such is the meld of three hearts, the trust achieved that molds them into longterm friendship.
Perspectives shift, just as in daily life. The jumble makes each of the women heroic and/or mildly villainous at times. Motives shift, especially when fueled by a significant amount of cash won in a lottery…
I adore my cast of characters and hope that you will, too – books2read.com/u/bWzVMx
Even when each attempts shady hijinks or runs amok with the tale, obliterating another’s goals, friendship prevails and there’s no place like home.
I also adore being a member of this supportive network – http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com
I’d like to hear more about your Holy Land trip. With pictures, please!
Thanks for asking, Alex, faithful leader of IWSG. We’d been advised that Israel and Jordan’s climate was similar to ours in SoCal – and it was… it rained and stormed and even snowed. Not the best picture-taking weather! I posted a picture of Petra on my personal FB page, so you could check that out