June was Men’s month here at Motown Writer’s Network. So I decided to do something different. Instead of writing about a male author or group, I decided to write about men period. In between my writer’s block and usual Motor City mayhem, I made some observations. I was not disappointed! Even helped myself in the process.
While researching a male character, I looked for examples of the classic male antagonist. Womanizer, violent, Larry Fishburn as Ike Turner, real low lifes! Then I tried to see what made these guys appealing. Their charismatic smile, rippling muscles, almond colored eyes perfectly encasing a pure demon. I found a lot of these type of guys in romance novels read mostly by women. Also, these guys are all over daytime television. When Father’s Day rolled around, I realized that I was looking in the wrong place. Women were putting their no-good baby daddies and ex-husbands on blast all over Facebook! I soon had more material than I knew what to do with. That age old question of life imitating art or vice versa rang through my mind.
For every bad boy that I read about, I knew 3 or 4 women that would love him. The more I made my way around town, the more women I saw enjoying their bad boys. They don’t open the door for a lady any more and call her a bitch sometimes out in public but they get the ladies. The good guy is punished for their polish. So I envision my antagonist will have some fans no matter how awful I make him. Todd Manning was so horrible and compelling in “One Life to Life” that his character was added to “General Hospital”. Instant ratings booster!
Good guys don’t always finish last. You need them. In my search for the perfect antagonist, I have found some well written male protagonists. They were far and few between but they were there. While the thuggish, brutal, and immoral male figure steals the show with his swagger, the good guy works chapter after chapter to prove himself. The female lead often begins the book with the antagonist in order to show the progression of her coming to her senses. June was a good month for me and I believe I have found my Antagonist! Ladies imitate art, find your good guy! Even if you have to go through the progressions. It will keep you from posting Facebook hostilities on Father’s Day.