Scene 4: Protagonist and Antagonist

Writing Guidelines

  1. Read/review your scene from yesterday; do this quickly. Try not to linger and edit.
  2. Start the above timer.
  3. Write a today’s scene in first person narrative, in ten minutes or less.
  4. If at any point, the narrative derivates from the original prompt, let it; go where your creativity leads you.
  5. Resist the urge to edit new scenes, try to hold off until the end of the month, focus on your creative process and put the editor away for now.
  6. Stop writing when the timer stops. Take a break. Stand up. Grab a drink. Keep writing new words if you like or, if not, file the scene/narrative in your novel folder.
  7. If you would like to share your narrative, post it to the discussion board below and share it with your course peers. If you end up expanding this narrative into a fuller work and would like written, individualized feedback on it, we invite you to join us for a One on One Workshop. Submit your work at the bottom of this page.
  8. If you have already begun your narrative or are rewriting a fully drafted narrative, use this prompt to further explore character and place. Rewriting a scene can be a fantastic step in the revision process.


Writing Prompt

With which character, “Best” or “Worst,” do you feel most intrigued? Take some to time to consider this. Which character feels it offers more perspective and internal conflict?

Make this character your protagonist, at least for now. Make the other your antagonist. You might find that you will switch them or develop other characters along the way that intrigue you more, but for now, choose one of the two as your protagonist. Now, excavate your protagonist’s most important need and motivation. Make this motivation a goal and make it immediate and organic to the character. Also, consider how this goal is ironic to the character. Using Little Miss Sunshine” as an example, consider how Olive’s goal and motivation to be a beauty queen is ironic. She is anything but. Additionally, pageantry objectifies her position as a young female. Still, the reader roots for her as she practices with such determination.

What is your protagonist’s immediate and ultimate goal? How does this goal parallel and create irony for the protagonist? Write a scene in which your protagonist prepares, practices, takes steps toward this goal. In this scene, how might the protagonist’s behaviors and hard work create both satirical effect and encourage empathy from the reader? How has the antagonist’s behaviors create difficulty for the protagonist in achieving this goal?




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