Questions Users Search
Meta Help
Sign Up Sign In

Antagonist motivation help [closed]

0

My (A)ntagonist (or antagonizing force) in my novel causes a nuclear disaster in a remote nuclear facility. I've decided on certain circumstantial plot points, such as the post-disaster coping of the surrounding characters, but I've come to realize I don't know what motivation A had in causing the disaster in the first place. I need a bit of help developing this.

Some information about A:

  • gaunt, silent, more alarming than frightening
  • male, late 40's, pale, thin
  • possibly under hire by some other force, though money does not seem to be a motivation

Potential elements:

  • A needs the use of the nuclear facility for ------

My novel is more rooted in the general survival of the people involved, with some frightening quasi-otherwordly elements. Thus, I would prefer a motivation that remains plausible, but would be open to an interpretation which has some minor scifi or fantasy elements.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

history · edit · permalink · reopen · delete · flag
Why should this post be closed?

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/8972. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

closed by System on Sep 27, 2013 at 00:11

This question was closed; new answers can no longer be added. Users with the reopen privilege may vote to reopen this question if it has been improved or closed incorrectly.

0 comments

4 answers

0

Some possibilities:

  • It was an accident. This would give him something to cope with.
  • He works at the site, and his neglect or incompetence or other personal failing caused the problem or made it worse.
  • He works at the site. He tried to get his superiors' attention about problems at the site. Though he did not cause the accident, he believes that he allowed it by not taking his concerns to authorities outside the site. He feels tremendous guilt about this. The managers and execs now want to silence him permanently.
history · edit · permalink · delete · flag

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/8973. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

0

Started a nuclear disaster, potential for otherworldly elements — I'd say he's a fanatic trying to bring about the end of the world so that aliens will swoop down and rescue him.

No seriously. The guy doesn't have to be sane. The chain of logic can make perfect sense in his own head (sort of a cross of Heaven's Gate, Rapture-awaiting evangelicals, and Scientologists who believe in Xenu) but be obviously nuts to everyone else.

If you have scenes from A's POV, you could have him "receiving signals from out there," but because he's clearly unhinged and an unreliable narrative view, the reader doesn't know if the signals are real or delusional. That could leave open the possibly that he's actually not crazy and that the aliens are coming.

history · edit · permalink · delete · flag

0 comments

0

Let me reach for that resource and hope I don't sink in the process...

  • For The Evulz - he's a destructive force, a person who "likes to watch the world burn". No deeper reasons, no hate, no revenge. Simple love for destruction.
  • One I can't find the trope for, "Burn down a national park to steal a bag of french fries": the disaster and resulting chaos was an opportunity to perform a job: steal some radioactives, force people to vacate the nearby area (e.g. because there's something significantly more dangerous there), distract authorities and draw away forces from a distant area of a heist, engage rescue forces while an even more serious disaster is being prepared.
  • Disproportionate Retribution - Whatever reason. He learned he's about to get fired. He lost something precious - say, wife left him. He's really tired with life. Let's go with a bang.
  • A mystery never explained.
  • Baptism of fire. People realize the value of their lives when these lives hang on a thread. People live to the fullest when they live as heroes. The daily dreary of work and boredom is the ultimate nightmare. Let's give them an opportunity to shine.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist. It's a remote nuclear facility with an inherent security flaw. There are quite a few such facilities in densely populated locations. Only the disaster will force a global shutdown of the insecure facilities.
  • Hostages/Blackmail. There are other antagonists: terrorists, agencies, whatever. They forced the hand of the one we know.

There are many more options...

history · edit · permalink · delete · flag

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/8976. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

0

My suggestion is to make the "antagonist" as a scientist of sort, if the shoe fits. Perhaps he's on the verge of a nuclear-related breakthrough that led him to be careless, triggering the events. Or, if he's working for a bigger antagonist, perhaps it's simply something that he is asked to do, which he may or many not like, in exchange for funding of a useful project. Either way, as this (Warning! TVTropes!) Article shows, anything is morally justifiable for certain individuals if it's for the sake of science.

Honestly, I had actually also got a vague, very rough idea for a nuclear survival story, but the only good idea I had gotten is one of the main characters (or rather, THE Main Character himself.) has a terminal illness, caused by being in close proximity during the explosion, that would cause him to die in a short duration. I thought it was a good tension builder. But I can't find a scientifically plausible reason as to why he could survive a head-on nuclear explosion, which is why I scrapped the idea.

history · edit · permalink · delete · flag

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/9005. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments