The Sanguinarian

The Sanguinarian

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Discussion- The antagonist as the protagonist in a novel

I have been grappling with the concept, as of late, of the Antagonist of a story being the Protagonist.
Usually, the protagonist is the good guy/gal- their thoughts and actions steeped in shades of grey but ultimately they prove their mettle.
But I'm developing the concept for these three erotic suspense novellas which I'll write as an armada.
All three protagonists are women. No, it's not a feminist things- it's just centered around three woman characters, all different and disparate from each other.
Now, my characters are rebellious, independent minded, the my-life-my-rules kind.
And as I still remember a line from Chuck Wendig's brilliant article on strong female characters in books- the character choices must push on the plot mostly- the plot must not push on the character's actions all that much.
I have tried to make the situations such that my character's actions push on the plot- motivation, action, consequence.
Thing is, these actions are not always good. In this case, some of them are outright reprehensible. But the thing is, these women make choices- even if bad ones- and that's how the story moves forward. But the nature of these actions make my characters the antagonists too, and not very likeable.
No one likes people who cheat on their spouses, bitch about others, cuss excessively or, in extreme cases, kill. But that's how I'm shaping the protagonist-cum-antagonist in these novellas. 
My aim is not to glorify these things- in fact, I believe some of the things done by my MCs are condemn-able, but it's for the audience to decide, not for me. I'll not impose my view-points on them.
My question, can these characters be considered 'strong'? Strong as in not the kind who beats up goons, but the kind who makes their own choices- no matter how bad those choices are.
If strong protagonists are the cornerstone of compelling stories, so are strong antagonist-protagonists for some stories, right?

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