The author blog of C. J. Ivory

Tinkerer with words. Dresser-Upper. Adorer of Steampunk and VictoriaNoir fiction. Occasional Lawgineer.

February 7, 2011

February Blog Chain: Antagonists

Gentle Reader,
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:


De's Stories said...

Wow, very interesting post. Ashby sure does sound like a tyrant.

Anonymous said...

I haven't met Ashby in person, but I already hope he meets a nasty end.

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

Hi guys! Yeah, Ashby's not the sweetest person you'll ever meet! But rest assured, he comes to a sticky end :)

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

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.

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

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!

Aimee Laine said...

Ooh! Very mysterious and full of potential! :)

Diane Dooley said...

That Ashby will come to a bad end. Isn't that the fun of antagonists? Imagining how they'll get their comeuppance.

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

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! ;)

Eliza Tilton said...

he reminds me of bull the butcher, love it!

Anonymous said...

Now I want to know what happens around it!

And what revenge is taken upon Ashby later on!

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

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!

Anonymous said...

So was the name Ashby chosen specifically to evoke ash from coal-powered industry, or was it a happy coincidence?

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

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 :)

Trisha said...

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 ;)