Creating Characters: The Good and The Bad

Every story needs to have two strong characters-the protagonist (the good guy) and the antagonist (the bad guy).  Without them there is no conflict and no motivation for the characters to do what they do.  If everybody gets along, your story is nothing more than those sappy Christmas letters we all get every year. 

Take a look at these two gentlemen.  Choose one to be your protagonist and one to be your antagonist.

Answer these questions about your protagonist:

1.  What is his name?

2.  What is he doing in this scene?

3. Fill in five details about him.  Married or single?  Rich or poor?  Mannerisms, goals and desires, perceptions, and views.

4.  Does he realize that the other guy is out to get him?

5.  What must he do to overcome the bad guy?

Answer these questions about your antagonist:

1.  What is his name?

2.  What is he doing in this scene?

3. Fill in five details about him.  Married or single?  Rich or poor?  Mannerisms, goals and desires, perceptions, and views. Is there a back story that will tell us why he is the way he is?

4.  What is his evil plan?  Write a short monologue in which the character outlines how he will defeat the protagonist.

5.  What is his motivation?   Why must he hurt or trick another person?

Do this exercise again and switch the characters.

Photo found on MorgueFile

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