For the A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of antagonists.
On my normal blogging days, Monday – parenting and Thursday – writing/publishing, I will tie that day’s topic to antagonists but on the other days (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday), I will write about antagonists from movies, TVs or books. On Wednesdays, my Quote of the Week will be from an antagonist that matches the letter of the day. Enjoy.
Not all killers are antagonists just as all antagonists are not killers. Today is the letter K, and I am talking about Killers.
From serial killers to mysterious deaths to killing out of jealousy or survival, murder or deaths are often part of the conflict of a novel. And what better way to have your antagonist instill fear than to kill off a few people. Or it could be your protagonist doing the killing to preserve his or her life or that of a loved one.
But no matter who is doing the killing, you still must follow the rules. As with any character action, there needs to be a reason behind it. No one – not even serial killers – kill without a reason. It may not be an obvious reason such as self defense but even mass murderers have a reason for what they do. It is not “just because” or because they are “evil.”
As an author, you have to go beyond the motivation of the killer. If they are going to kill off a character in your story, you need to make sure there is a good reason for the character must die. It could be to advance the plot, spurring your protagonist into motion. Or it could be to add realism. No one expects to read a war drama without anyone dying. But it just shouldn’t be because of “shock” value or you need something to happen.
This give you at least two things to consider before making your antagonist a killer. Why does he do it? And is it necessary to your plot?
And in case you want to check out my other antagonists from the challenge…
A is for Apocalypse
B is for Bad Boys (parenting)
C is for Cruella de Vil
D is for Darth Vader (Quote)
D is for To Die for Cake (Recipe)
E is for Evil (Writing)
F is for Freddy Kruger
G is for Gollum
H is for High School (parenting)
I is for Iron Monger
J is for Jafar (Quote)