In developing the antagonist for this story, I’ve had to think not just of a back story, but also of what drives this man and what his make-up is psychologically. He is a handsome, older man who is charming, rich and intelligent, but who also displays sociopathic traits.

Ryan is the CEO of a major production company and he attained that position, not because of working his way up the ladder to its highest post, or because he learned the ins and out of the business in minute detail, but because he inherited a great deal of money and took his positIon on the board by buying the company.

Demonstrating a disregard for the rights of others  in a repetitive, persistent pattern, continued from a childhood saga of cruelty and bizarre fantasies, Ryan is successful in hiding his behavior while pursuing increased power at the costs of others. His brilliant thinking and good looks bring women to him who he holds in contempt, much as he did his own mother. Women are to be used for carnal pleasure or as a means to attain a desired end.

He is self-assured, sometimes cocky, impatient, but when needed, he exudes a superficial charm , layered cleverly with such finesse, that he rarely reveals the deceit and manipulation he uses to obtain pleasure and profit.

He is after Skye, but to obtain the secrets he thinks she holds.  His character will be wonderfully rich as he brings conflict to the protagonist, Skye.

He is interesting to envision.


A Look Into the First Chapter…DIMENSION NORRÆNA

Yesterday I typed up a new rough first and second chapter. In the first chapter I hope to pull in the reader to the protagonist-introducing her as a person getting ready for the first day of a new semester at the college where she teaches Drama. She is settling in for the night when something very strange and alarming happens to her. I follow this with chapter 2 which shows us a little of what we might expect from the antagonist.

Here is a little taste:

I put the last folder in my slim, black briefcase. I wasn’t going to take the other bigger one. I had finished all the charting and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and was ready to connect with my fellow theatre colleagues. Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza had all been observed appropriately and my decorations were long put away. The media reported that sales had been good for merchants.

Before we know it, we’ll be adding Three Kings Day to the mix.

I wondered what the holidays might have been like if I had had children…well if I had a husband even. The holidays were often lonely for me as my adoptive parents had passed on several years before. I had no family to speak of in California. I relied on friends to include me which thankfully they did.

Skye Winter. 33 and single. Maybe this year will bring some changes for me.

I had no reason to think that was likely, but I still had hope that my life had much more in store for me.

I double checked the doors and turned down the heat. The embers from the fireplace in the living room were still glowing. The fire screen looked closed and I flipped off the lights and headed to my bedroom. Living in the mountains was chilly, but I loved the crispness of the air up here. Having to drive down the hill to the college could be treacherous in the winter, but the roads were clear now. It hadn’t snowed since January 29th.

I got ready for bed. My usual ritual was to wash my face, brush my teeth and comb my hair. I looked in the mirror. My blonde hair hung loosely around my shoulders. My eyes looked tired. I finished up, dropped my jeans and warm Henley quickly on the arm chair and pulled a night shirt on. I set the alarm on my cell phone, plopped it on the night stand next to me and slid under the sheets and cozy white duvet. I liked to imagine that the fluffy spread was like being covered by a white cloud.

Well, not really. Clouds were damp or wet. Ugh.

I snuggled down, pulling the covers up to my neck. I adjusted my head on the pillow. The house was very still. A slight breeze rustled through the pines outside.

The Readers Image of the Main Character

I plan to spend today typing chapters. I have written a different first chapter. The first one I wrote  is better a little further in as it describes my lead character (Skye Winter) as she starts a new semester at the college where she teaches in California. This chapter also gives a glimpse of her attraction to the Technical Director for the theatre at the college and some insight into the nature of life at this time.

A fellow writer in the writers club (of which I am currently President) lectured on how she uses movie stars to picture her characters. I think she cuts out photos of them and that helps her describe them more thoroughly and gives her other cues. I thought that was a great idea when I first heard it. Now, however, I look at the various choices the movie industry had for Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey and the man they chose, while absolutely gorgeous and I can see why they chose him, was not the image that I had in mind myself. Then I learned there was a whole site on line where people were posting pictures of men they thought looked like their Christian. They were all pretty different.

So it occurs to me that everyone wants to have their own image of the characters. I need to leave some room for their imaginations.  Below  is the image of my Christian and the producers’ idea of Christian.


Image  Image

Discovering the Backstory of the Antagonist

Every day that I write I learn more about fully developing my characters. Today I worked on Ryan Eddington. (I’d much rather write about the protagonist/hero, Skye Winter, but eventually I will learn to find redeeming points about Ryan’s character. He has to have depth because he drives the story. As a major character he brings about surprises, conflict, reversals of the plot, right?

So I began to imagine his back story. His mother was odd, obsessive and withdrawn. His father was abusive in many ways. He did things as a child that suggest he had no conscience or very little. He watched ants in an ant farm- held up the two pieces of pressed glass and laughed because they could not get out . He scooped out fish from his father’s aquarium and laid them on a table top to watch them suffocate.

In junior high he was taunted for being different and picked on and beaten up by  group of boys.

In high school he loved cutting open frogs in biology. He worked out and became strong and well-built. He was handsome and girls in his class all vied for him- the younger girls in school did, too. He found them pretty and soft, but had no respect for them . He was smart, artistic, athletic, but a loner much of the time. He was on the wrestling team.

He becomes the CEO of a large production company and  a self-made multi-millionaire.

I have a lot more detail- but Ugh- I don’t much like this guy.