Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Opposing Visions

Lately I've been working on a short story in between edits, and I've encountered a problem: my antagonist is vague. It's not that I don't have a specific idea of the antagonist. Not at all.

You see, I have a very clear vision in my head of the antagonist, of who he is and why he does as he does. In fact, I have two such very clear visions.

There are two different paths that this short story could take. They're almost identical in what the protagonist does, and they have a nearly identical ending. The ultimate outcome is the same.

But the context of the short story is entirely changed based on the motivations of the antagonist. On the advice of a member of my writing group, I'll be writing both versions. I simply can't choose one or the other until I've seen them both. The thing that scares me is that I think both will be good, and I won't be able to choose after the fact, either.

But they'll also both be better, because they'll clearly defined, and fully themselves, instead of half someone else.

Have you ever had two conflicting views of the same character? How did you refine that character into a single view? How did you choose?

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