This post is in response to the February Blog Chain prompt about our novel's antagonist. I've chosen Lord Ashby, who's crawled out of my 1850s-London Gothic suspense novel, Cirque Noir.
Part one: Describe the antagonist in your novel in 50 words or less.
A Victorian expansionist, Lord Ashby sees the world in pounds and pence. Land-hungry, he’ll grab whatever space he can to throw up quick terraced housing for the burgeoning population. Domestically he’s a cold and distant master to his cowed wife Catherine and their sickly son; professionally, he takes no prisoners.
Part two: What would you say to your antagonist if you met him or her in real life? Post a scene in response to this question in 100 words or less.
He’d probably give me the heebie-jeebies if I ever met him in real life! But here goes; beaming Charlotte back to 1850s London:
“I walked past the old circus site today,” I said. “The ground is still scorched – I can’t imagine anything growing there for years.”Ashby shrugged, signing a paper. His name, as usual, in red ink. “Land should be for building, not growing. That tawdry circus held the lease far too long: pennies, for the best vacant land in London.”“Will charity be given to families of the dead?”He looked irritated. “What families? Those crude circus folks all died together.”No. Not “all”. I gazed at his red-stained fingertips.Ashby would soon learn that no job should be left half-done.
Next aboard the blog train is Auburn Assassin. Don't forget to check out the other participants in February's Blog Chain:
Wow, very interesting post. Ashby sure does sound like a tyrant.
I haven't met Ashby in person, but I already hope he meets a nasty end.
Hi guys! Yeah, Ashby's not the sweetest person you'll ever meet! But rest assured, he comes to a sticky end :)
Well done! He sounds in your scene exactly as you described him; I get a very clear picture. And yes, I see why he's the antagonist very, very clearly too.
Greed and opportunism always make for the best villains. Although I get the feeling some opportunities are created as opposed to discover in Mr. Ashby case.
Thanks, Claire! I struggled to stay within the word count (I'm a talker!). But I'm glad I managed to get the essence of Ashby across. Looking forward to reading everyone else's antagonists to see how they've tackled it.
And ralfast - good observation: Ashby's definitely an "opportunity creator". I admit there was a little symbolism going on with the red ink... Mwahahaha!
Ooh! Very mysterious and full of potential! :)
That Ashby will come to a bad end. Isn't that the fun of antagonists? Imagining how they'll get their comeuppance.
Thanks for the comments, Aimee and Diane! I do love arranging for the antagonists to get their "just desserts". This novel is interesting and a bit challenging for me, as it is very "noir" (can you guess from the title?!), so unfortunately I am mistreating a few people who don't deserve it... turns out I am not a benevolent dictator! ;)
he reminds me of bull the butcher, love it!
Now I want to know what happens around it!
And what revenge is taken upon Ashby later on!
Thanks you guys. It's so cool that a short snippet can pique interest in the novel. When I complete the manuscript I will be shouting it from the rooftops, I promise!
So was the name Ashby chosen specifically to evoke ash from coal-powered industry, or was it a happy coincidence?
Ooh, I hadn't thought of that, NEB! LOL. Perhaps it was a subconcious reference to the industrial revolution... yes, I'll go with that; I'd like to think I have a profound subconscious :)
Since I joined the blog chain, I'm going around and checking out all the earlier entries. And yeah... This guy does sound like his whole life purpose is to conquer for a profit ;)
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