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30 days on writing: Entry #18: Antagonists - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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30 days on writing: Entry #18: Antagonists [Aug. 9th, 2010|10:27 am]
Young Geoffrey
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Antagonists? We don't need no stinkin' antagonists!

I'm going to be off to arrange for a new pair of glasses when I finish keeping my daily appointment with this meme.

Which reminds me: I went to an optometrist for the first time in nearly three and a half years a week or so ago.

As we were finishing up, I mentioned to the doctor that I wanted glass, not plastic, lenses.

"Well," she said, "it's hard to get glass lenses now."

"I know. But surely it's not impossible?"

"Plastic is a lot safer, you know."

I laughed (as long-time readers are aware, I most certainly do know of the risks posed by glass lenses!) and pointed above, and then below, my right eye. "I do know," I said. "An angry drunk taught me that lesson very well," I added, then told her about the time I'd been punched up so badly my right orbital bone was shattered along with one of the lenses of my glasses.

"But I still want glass lenses. I'd swear — listen, isn't there actually some kind of difference in the quality of the vision provided by plastic or glass?

The optometrist hesitated, then admitted, "Well, yes. Glass does provide a somewhat clearer image, but —"

"I knew it!" I said, "I knew it! Ever since I switched, I've had the vague sense that things aren't as clear as they used to be! I want glass, I'll take the risk. It took 35 years for me to have an accident with glass the first time; and I'm less likely to get into a barroom brawl now than I was when I was yhoujng. I'll take the chance," I said again.

The optometrist smiled. "I should make you sign a disclaimer."

"I'll sign anything you want," I said. "I'm a big believer in taking responsibility for my own actions."

She didn't make me sign the waver, but she did add, "Glass lenses for optical clarity" to my prescription.

And now, back to the meme.

18. Favorite antagonist and why!

The Big C likes to quote an old newspaper adage, "There are no dull stories, only dull reporters." I begin to suspect the same might hold true for meme questions.

I'd intended to briefly state that "I don't write about villains", then remembered the question refers to "antagonists", not villains and, furthermore, that maybe not writing about them is a problem.

Also, it's not true, though much of my fiction does revolve around two characters talking, with no clear plot-driven winner or loser in sight.

Which is fine and can make for excellent fiction, but that kind of slice-of-life story is as much of a genre as one with vampires and wide-eyed teenage girls.

More to the point, something like The Jewel of Eternity actually does have an antagonist — a genuine, rogue-Elf villain, damn it — but he is a two-dimnensional baddy at very best. And that is a problem, not just with Jewel but (now that I think of it) with all of my non-slice-of-life fiction.

My villains are not complex, but neither are they well-motivated evil, either. They are plot devices labelled bad guy and that is something I'm really going to have to work on.

Edited to fix ridiculous repeat typos (thanks, Raven!) August 10, 2010.

0. Explain yourself! In which Young Geoffrey explains the meme and his reasons for exploring it.

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about "youngest" and "oldest" in terms of when you created them?

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how "far" are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

17. Favorite protagonist and why!

19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!

20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?

21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.

23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story — from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?

24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

26. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!

27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

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