The Novelist's Antagonists (And How to Defeat Them)

In the story of life, there are three antagonists who are fighting against you when you're writing your novel. In order to finish, you need to defeat each one in its turn. So, let's take a look at each one and the best way to defeat it.

1. The Antagonist of Boredom

Any writer can tell you. The idea that used to be so fresh in your mind is now boring and unexciting. You can plot out the whole book in your mind, but you don't have the will to actually sit down and write.
The Antagonist of Boredom has a goal of making you lose interest in your story and set it aside, never to come back to it again. To combat him, you need the weapon of Commitment.
First of all, you must commit to writing a bit in your story at specific times or days. Then, don't break the commitment. If you do, punish yourself in a small, but meaningful way, like skipping dessert or going without TV for a day.
When you're using the Weapon of Commitment, you may get bored of your story, but you can't stop writing, because you've committed to sticking it out.

2. The Antagonist of Time

The biggest obstacle in life is often time, especially for writers. “I'd write that chapter,” you say, “but I just don't have the time.”
The Antagonist of Time has an extremely effective tactic: crowd your life with so many other things that you don't even have time to think about writing. I say that his tactic is effective, but it also has a loophole. Basically, his tactic will only work if you do not conscious plan your time. Your weapon to fight against him is to plan your time every day. Even if it's as small as writing out a prioritized to-do list or as big as planning everything on a calendar, by planning, you nullify the antagonist's tactics and he will have no power over you.

3. The Antagonist of Criticism

Maybe somebody criticized your writing, or perhaps you're looking back over the earlier chapters and thinking, “Ick, did I really write this?.”
The worst enemy of writers is negative criticism, because it breaks down a person from the inside. It wears them down to where they are no longer able to force themselves to write.
Your weapon against negative criticism is deflective, like a shield. You need to let it bounce off your shield by disregarding that negative criticism. In addition, keep moving. Don't let it stop you. If you dwell on it, it will immobilize you, forcing you to stop. On the other hand, if you learn from your mistakes and keep moving, you will become a better writer.
Before we go on, there is more than one type of criticism. There's the “You're an awful writer” sort of criticism, but there's also the helpful, “You would be much better if you focused on such and so.” You see, the purpose behind this second kind is to make you a better writer. As a result, you should pay careful attention to the second kind, while disregarding the first. Either way, learn from your mistakes and keep writing.

By learning about the three antagonists, you can defeat them and come out on top.
So, till next time: keep writing!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! These are all so relatable and true, and I think the one I struggle most with is criticism. It cripples my progress with my writing and is such a pain

    New GFC follower :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words