The Mirror – Writing a Great Antagonist

Welcome to Amazing Gaming Productions. My name is Mark.

Today we finish up positive character acts with how to write a good story arc for a story where the MC has to learn those valuable lessons.

Every story needs an antagonist, and the theme helps create who that person is.

In a Positive Character Arc, you take the worst aspects of the theme and personify them. For Greed vs Generosity, you create a miser who makes the original Scrooge look like a saint.

The antagonist pulls all the strings in the story, forcing the MC to learn what faults hold them back from their story goals. The Story Arc is the character arc for the antagonist – the entity that starts the story in the first place.

Remember, the antagonist is who is pulling all the strings. They don’t do this haphazardly. They are doing everything for a reason. They have lies they believe, wounds from the past and things they want.

Their goals push antagonists to do things that would shock many people, like murder, theft, and infidelity!

Adolph Hitler believed the Jews were dangerous and killed them by the millions! He was trying to save the world from their “evil”. One lie leads to millions of deaths in WWII.

All tragedies start with people who believe the wrong things, acting irrationally and doing something monster outs.

Once you know this, you can start to write the story.

For Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2), the antagonist is Micah. For a story that is about blind loyalty vs freedom and honour, Micah makes the perfect villain. He is not loyal to anyone but himself and pits the Van Der Linde gang against the O’Driscols to be the last man standing to get the stash!

Micah was the most dishonourable, playing all the sides to get everyone killed. He could just walk on in, take the stash and be “free”

Once you understand the antagonist’s goals, writing the story is easy. It is a to-and-fro between their goals and the goals of the MCs.

Micah wants the stash to himself. He ensures Dutch’s plan backfires by informing the authorities in Black Water, who drive them out. If they succeeded, the gang would go to Cuba, something Micah doesn’t want!

Once he hears the authorities are on his trail, he needs to get out of the way. He is in Dutch’s ear, helping him plan things out. But Micah always bends the plans to benefit him and harm the gang. Especially since he usually gave tips to the authorities and the O’Driscols.

Once the gang escape the Pinkerton detective agency, Micah ensures Dutch’s plans keep going south. He tips off the O’Driscols that Arthur would be there while they negotiated with Dutch, almost costing Arthur’s life.

Dutch was so compromised, he didn’t know who he could trust either. All because of the snitch, Micah!

And when Dutch tries to get the money to go to Cuba by robbing Saint Denis, they get caught again – all because Micah was betraying the gang.

At the end of Arthur’s life, there is a final shoot out and fight, where Arthur gives up his life to help John Marsden escape. Arthur prevents Micah from getting the stash in a good old fashioned fistfight. As Arthur endures the pain of dying from TB and Micah’s beatings, he wastes Micah’s time and prevents him from getting the stash.

He did everything to be the last man standing to get the stash – his goal. And in the end, right after he finds it and tries to take it for himself, he dies because he pulls a gun on John Marsden.

All you need to do is be patient, wait for Micah to shoot first.

The story arc is all about the antagonists and their story goals.

Micah did everything to get the stash and live high on the hog as the last man standing. He was not loyal or honourable, and he gets what he deserves by the end of the story.

When you create an antagonist, look at the theme of your work and choose the worst aspect to mould your antagonist – like Micah.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog.

And share this on social media.

Have a great day, guys!

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