Antagonists That Aren’t People


Some genres shy away from antagonists that take the form of a person or physical being. Adult contemporary especially tends to focus on internal antagonism. Side antagonists can be found in all types of stories, though, and they don’t all have to be a person. It’s good to mix it up and keep it interesting!

Here are examples of metaphorical antagonists:

  • Self-doubt
  • Mental illness
  • Grief
  • Impulsive/risky behavior
  • Nature/Weather/Natural disasters
  • Physical illness
  • Poverty, Bills, and Debt
  • Insecurity
  • Family legacy
  • Laws, Rules, and Protocol
  • Monotony 
  • Soul-crushing job
  • School
  • Loveless relationship
  • Aloneness/Isolation
  • Lack of resources
  • Night time (or day time)

Feel free to add more!

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