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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Process of Writing: Part 13

Now we come to opposition. What would a story be without a healthy dose of opposition?  boring.

Now that your protagonist knows what he desires and the problem has been introduced, the opposition must come into the story to hinder the hero's progress. Enter Darth Vader.

To be a true opponent, the antagonist – the opponent – must want the same thing or desire as your protagonist. This is vital because it sets up the foundation for the conflict.

Think Star Wars  again, Both Luke and Vader desire the same thing, a mixture of control, power, and revenge. – Remember, desire is a bad thing in the end.

There are three levels of opposition:

1.    Small – At this level of opposition the protagonist, the good guy, is competing with the antagonist, the bad guy, for an object.

·       Again let’s look at Star Wars. In the beginning of the story Luke and Darth Vader are competing for possession of the two droids, C3PO and R2D2. 

2.    Intermediate – This is the level of competition where the protagonist and the antagonist compete for power over a particular place or person.

·         We see this level of struggle represented next in that Luke competes with Vader for the person of Princess Leah.

3.    Superior – This is the third and final level. At this stage the hero is pitched against the villain for whose way of life will ultimately dominate as the rule.

·         For this example think about the ending of Star Wars as the dreaded Death Star is closing in on the planet where the rebel base lay hidden. On the bridge of the ship, Darth Vader and his crew gloat in preparation of the final destruction of the rebel alliance and extending the empire’s rule throughout the known galaxy. Contrast this against, Luke and the rag-tag band of fliers as they prepare to fight to free that same set of people to live in freedom.


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