As mentioned last week, I'm back in the saddle when it comes to writing the Balfrith story. Of the nine items in my to-do list, I managed to check off two of them last weekend, and am working my way through another one today.
This blog post is just a short break in my Sunday morning writing session. I'll be getting back to work in a bit.
Several of the items in the list are loosely related, in that they have to do with strengthening the character of the story's antagonist. I had realized some time ago, and had it confirmed through some of my alpha-test readers, that the story didn't really have a strong "bad guy" character. There was conflict to be sure, but it tended to be background noise, the little conflicts that the protagonist and his friends simply dealt with from chapter to chapter. The true antagonist, such as it is, didn't make an appearance until almost the end of the story.
This needed to change.
Part of the problem, I realized, was that when I started writing the story I really didn't have a strong idea of who or what the antagonist really was. I had ideas for the kinds of challenges and adventures Balfrith might need to go on, but no clear vision of who or what his opposition might be. This is pretty obvious when you read the rough draft as it stands right now (or as it stood recently, anyway).
So, back to my list of to-do items, I have several notes indicating where I think I can bring out the antagonist as a character starting earlier in the story, and then throughout the story as things progress. The goal of course is to give Balfrith some real and active opposition, and bring out the central conflict of the story, earlier on. This should, in the end, increase the overall drama of the story and have a much better emotional impact on the reader.
Anyway that's the goal. Sorry I can't give more details, but I prefer to leave the actual antagonist a surprise for later readers to discover. There is a bit of mystery to the antagonist character, so I would rather not give it away just yet.