Some advice, please.


The antagonist in my next book is called The Antagonist. At first I thought this would be temporary, hoping that something better would present itself. Besides, giving the bad guy a bad guy syndrome sounded like a bad idea (pardon the pun). Frequently a character would be named Girl With Hat, or Guy2???, until a more suitable name came to mind.


But I've come to love this character so much that I can't kill him off or change his name! I've described his journey from average joe to bad guy, detailing how his menace grew and how he transformed/morphed from good to bad. Essentially he has become (wait for it...) - The Antagonist.


My question: How would a reader receive a character called The Antagonist?


James Fouche

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Hmm.  I'm perplexed again.  It's a bit like having a character with two different identities.

Guess it's not far removed from duality. However, the good (innocent) side is sketched by the POV of other characters and the bad (true) side is sketched through the POV of the Antagonist. 


To the other characters The Antagonist is Mr. Smith - a great, hardworking guy. They don't really notice him much and in their POV he doesn't really feature that often. If he does feature, it would be in a good light.


Then the reader gets to experience the Antagonist, a bad guy who is plotting to undermine the entire office, kill his boss and whoever gets in his way.


Does that make a bit more sense?

Yes, I think I can see that working.  In an office it's easy to overlook a low profile character.  And since you'll have a number of office workers, the reader won't know who the antagonist is. Clever.



I appreciate your response. I specifically asked whether this would work or not, or whether it would be too confusing for the reader. In writing my responses on this thread, I'm constantly re-evaluating how I write the character. Your responses are helping me to better shape the way I tell the story.



The more I take readers into account, the better my writing gets.

Why not? I've read novels where the heroine or hero is referred to as exactly that and it's never bothered me. You could refer to him as The Villain if you change your mind on The Antagonist. I like it.


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