Part of the fun in writing is the opportunity to create characters to interfere with the needs and desires of the main characters.
The trick is to give the antagonists an excellent reason to oppose the main characters.
In The Music of Mars, Peter Konklin, the CEO of Peter Konklin Interplanetary, lost control of MarsVantage twelve years earlier when the government split off MarsVantage after an airlock accident. In Peter’s mind, he built MarsVantage, and it belongs to him.
He wants it back, and he’s pulling strings with the government to tighten the screws, so when the company fails, he can swoop in and buy them on the cheap.
As MarsVantage goes after a prize at a price they can barely afford, Konklin reasons that their success could hinder his efforts. He directs his people, Heather and John, to stop Gretchen and Frank on the Martian plain. Each of them have their own desires and complying with Konklin’s orders will help achieve them.
I think the reader can identify with Konklin’s desire–his means, on the other hand, places him on the wrong side of the reader’s sympathies.
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I’m an author living in northern Virginia with a wife and a cat. In the late ’80s, I worked on the International Space Station project. I recently retired from managing a group of software engineers to focus on writing science fiction and speculative fiction. Learn more.