Every Wednesday, I post a writing prompt here. You write about it, if it tickles your creativity bone, and then come share what you wrote on Facebook to get some feedback and see what the other Ninjas have come up with. My goal with these prompts will to be to make them something that can move your current work-in-progress forward.
This week let’s do a little simultaneous work on our heroes and our antagonists.
Here’s something to keep in mind: your antagonist is the hero of their own story. And maybe your hero is the antagonist of that story.
So this week, take some time to consider a scene between your story’s hero and antagonist where they are both heroes of their own story. An argument or fight or clash between the two of them, where their individual stories come to a crossroads.
Make sure the stakes for both are high.
My work-in-progress is a Robin Hood retelling, so this scene is between my hero, Rob, and my antagonist, Guy. The third arm of their love triangle, Mattie, is involved as well–but this scene is really about the two of them fighting for position.
“This is my house,” Rob said, even though it wasn’t true.
“No. It’s not.”
“Of course it is,” Mattie said. “Or if it isn’t, it should be.”
“Locksley is mine.” Guy stood in front of the door, ready for a fight. Rob felt it in his blood—adrenaline coursing. Everything inside of him begged for that fight.
He took Mattie by the elbow and moved her back, away from him and from Guy, who came down the stairs toward them. He seemed entirely calm until he reached the bottom, and then he made a guttural noise and launched himself at Rob. The momentum pushed them both backward until Rob was pressed against the sun-heated side of Frank’s car.
“What’s wrong with you? Stop it!” Mattie reached between them just as Guy swung. Rob barely managed to push her out of the way before he felt the impact of the blow.
Another left-handed uppercut. Guy’s go-to. It caught Rob on the shoulder instead of the jaw, though. Guy pulled back to try again and Rob leaned back against the car, giving himself leverage to bring up a foot and drive it into a hard, bony knee.
Guy went down and Rob followed, pinning him to the ground. Guy fought, bucking under Rob to try to dislodge him. Something in Rob roared forward, leaping like a dog straining against a chain at the chance to fight. He couldn’t let go with either arm without giving Guy the leverage he needed to get the upper hand.
As soon as the burst of violent intention came, it dissipated. Rob looked up at Mattie, who had tears streaming down her face, then back down at Guy.
“Stop it.” When Guy bucked again, Rob let go of one of his arms long enough to slap him across the face, once, hard. “Why do you have to be such an asshole?”
The slap did the trick. Guy went slack. Rob looked at him through a breath or two, then started to get up. As soon as he had his feet under him and was baring his own weight, Guy pushed him with both hands and sent him sprawling.
“Enough!” Mattie put herself between Guy and Rob again. “What’s wrong with you?”
“What are you even doing here, Guy?” Rob asked when they were both on their feet. Guy fought like he was protecting his home.
“Jack left this place to Philip. And Philip gave it to me.”
“What are you talking about?” Rob looked around, desperately trying to bring up something. Some memory. Anything that would verify to himself that Locksley was his to fight for. “The will was just read an hour ago. How long have you been here?”
“Your father left it to rot. I’m the one who’s brought it back to life.” He reached a hand toward Mattie. “I was going to show you. Soon.”
“Guy.” Mattie took a step closer to Guy, but stopped when Rob shot her a look. “You had to know this place wasn’t yours. Not really.”
“Jack left it to Philip.”
“Does that even make sense to you?” Rob asked. “My dad’s only been dead for twenty-four hours. Did he know you were living here?”
“You don’t deserve Locksley. You don’t deserve–” Guy shifted his gaze to Mattie, then launched himself at Rob again.
Rob was ready, even desperate for it, but Guy’s next shot was interrupted by Mattie when she stepped in front of him.
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