Writing Antagonists

I enjoyed this article on antagonists, and it generally made me think we do a pretty good job with our antagonists. That said, I think we do have a hard time with #14 “Holding Hands With Monsters,” and I’m pretty sure it’s all Bruce Kawin’s fault.

At one point in college, we read the essay that eventually developed into Kawin’s book Mindscreen, which talks a lot about point of view in film. Granted this is really basic, jr. high literature stuff, but films, for the most part, tend to take a third person omniscient viewpoint, which has always bothered me. As a result, I tend to try to keep the focus tight on one character, which leads me to have a hard time switching over to show what the antagonists are up to. It always feels like cheating.

Of our scripts, only The League of Santas really spends significant time away from the protagonists. It’s a habit I’m trying to break myself out of. Our latest script, a revenge action story currently in rough draft, manages to drift away from the protagonist a bit at the end, and it feels more like a real, fully-fleshed out movie when it does. I’m not saying I want to go back and change the point of view of all our scripts, but it seems good to be aware of our habits.

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