How to Manipulate Your Antagonist’s Goals to Enhance Suspense

Your character wants something. But someone else in his world, perhaps a friend or a random stranger, wants the opposite. These incompatible goals define them as the protagonist and antagonist. They both can’t succeed, so when their desires clash, behold! You have the perfect recipe for conflict.How_to_Manipulate_Your_Antagonist_s_Goals_to_Enhance_Suspense

Conflict ensues when a character is faced with an obstacle to overcome. Your antagonist’s ambitions often interfere with your protagonist’s and vice versa. This drives the main conflict more than any other goal. Therefore, it is no surprise that the secret to intensifying suspense is born when the knowledge of the villain’s mission is manipulated.

When creating suspense, the nature of the antagonist’s goal doesn’t matter as long as it is contrary to the hero’s. Tension will result when you withhold aspects of the villain’s goal from your protagonist and, in turn, the audience. The antagonist’s objective becomes a mystery, taunting readers with information just beyond their reach. Below are three methods to increase this tension. [Read more…]

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Gabrielle Pollack currently resides with her family and many cats amidst a small wood she wishes was Narnia. Her interests are varied, and when she isn’t writing or studying, she enjoys karate, archery, introverting, and hanging out on the Kingdom Pen forum. She relishes the cool wind that rushes in before a thunderstorm, the scent of fresh rain, black clouds, and in summary, all things storm. As a lighthearted INFP, she loves horses, spring, strawberries, and sitting on the roof of her house.
She fell in love with stories many years ago and immersed herself in epic books like The Kingdom Series and The Peleg Chronicles, living the adventures and loving the characters. It took her a while to realize she could write epic stories herself, but once she did, she was a lost cause. She never quite recovered her sanity and often rants about good storytelling to innocent bystanders. Gabrielle has written two books since, and has a plethora of other ideas swirling inside her brain, waiting to turn into people and worlds. She desires to glorify God through her books, short stories, and blog, and looks forward to learning more about her trade.