Kiliane’s Rage’s Antagonist and his place in the novel

Kiliane's Rage

The antagonist in Kiliane’s Rage, my work-in-progress, created an interesting problem for me. He is an egotistical individual with aspirations to greatness. The problem is how to introduce his backstory which is important to understanding his aspirations.

I considered writing his early story in a prologue. But I have read several craft writers who recommend against a prologue. They have varied reasons but the one I note most is that the prologue could be woven into the story proper. This seems valid but the pacing of a story might not allow for a timeout to do backstory. The places where the antagonist appears in the Kiliane’s Rage are forward moving appearances. His desire to relive prior experiences taunts me to slow the pace just to suit him. They would bring the storyline to a timeout. I did not include timeouts in the outline.

the muse

Another option I am exploring is to present the antagonist first and protagonist later. A delay in bringing the protagonist allows the antagonist the opportunity to establish his space in the story. The present story has the protagonist introduced in the first scene. The antagonist also makes an appearance in this scene but is seen through the protagonist’s eyes. Once story rolls, he has a problem finding a good time to tell me why he is not totally evil.

Writing this post has introduced a prospect that I had not explored. I mapped a story where the protagonist solves the plot problem and the antagonist is vanquished. The story is told from the protagonist’s point-of-view. Telling Kiliane’s Rage from the antagonist’s POV may have merits. He has the opportunity to show why he is destroying the world and create concern he will not be stopped. Is it mandated he be stopped? Maybe the world he lives in deserves to be destroyed.

Have you had a WIP where you changed the POV from protagonist to antagonist or other way? I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on the value of prologues. Use the follow to be informed of new posts. Comments also welcomed.

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3 Responses to Kiliane’s Rage’s Antagonist and his place in the novel

  1. Hmm, not sure how changing the POV would work…

    What story are you trying to write? Is your protagonist growing as a result of the story? If not, that may be more of the issue.

    I’m not sold on needing to tell the antagonist’s backstory. If we have the protagonist and their story arc in place, the antagonist may not need a lot, especially if it slows the story. We didn’t need Darth Vadar’s life story in New Hope, nor did we need to know why Sauron was trying to conquer Middle Earth.

    The antagonist should have his motivations, and as long as you know them, great. Better yet if they play to whatever is going on with the hero, but I see no reason to slow the pace of the story.

    • Dwane says:

      I am dropping most of his backstory. I agree with you, it isn’t necessary. I can get his motivations into the story without backstory.

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