NaNoWriMo – Day 18 (A Day Late)

Day 18 – Who is the antagonist in your novel? What drives their actions?

When it comes to the conflict, there hasn’t been one antagonist that has stood out over all the rest. The conflict is more Man vs. Society and perhaps Man vs. Himself.

However, I would like to have a strong antagonist, so I have started to write one. (I know, I know, I’m rather late with this.) He’s very much a behind-the-scenes villain. Initially when I started to write him, he was highly influenced by Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life (Yes, Christmas and Occupy Wall Street have apparently been working on me). However, now that I look at how he’s developed, he also reminds me a bit of Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories, relying heavily on Andrew Scott’s performance as Jim Moriarty in Sherlock.

And like Potter and Moriarty, this character is driven by greed, power, and selfishness.

Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter and Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty

Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about – they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!

[It’s a Wonderful Life]

But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law — and there lie the glory and the wonder of it! The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every deviltry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations — that’s the man! But so aloof is he from general suspicion, so immune from criticism, so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those very words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your year’s pension as a solatium for his wounded character. Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it? Is this a man to traduce? Foulmouthed doctor and slandered professor — such would be your respective roles! That’s genius, Watson.

[The Valley of Fear]

He’s fun, but very hard to write.


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