Posted by: lizricewrites | May 4, 2016

I Hadn’t Thought Of It That Way

“You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.”

~~ John Rogers

Did you ever think of it that way?

As I was pondering that quote and trying to uncover the antagonist’s world in my middle grade novel, I started thinking about the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.

I could imagine the world of the Wicked Witch, and how the story could be rewritten from her perspective. A house is dropped on her sister. The magical ruby-red slippers, which should rightfully go to her, are instead put on the feet of the girl whose house killed her sister. All she wants is to get those slippers, but she has to face many obstacles. She tries and fails a few times. She uses all her skills to get those slippers. . .

Can you think of any other examples, in books or in movies, where you can almost redo or reimagine the story from the antagonist’s version of the world?


Write a few pages from the point of view of the Antagonist in you work in progress novel, early on in the novel. What do they want or need more than anything? Who or what is in their way of getting it?

Those pages will help you find out more about that character and their world ‘offstage’  without any interference from the main character/protagonist.

AND – speaking of the Wicked Witch- This is the house where L. Frank Baum wrote most of the books in the Wizard of Oz series. It’s in Coronado, California. There’s a street sign across the porch door    Wizard of Oz Ave.


L Frank Baum House in Coronado



  1. Great post, Liz. Your idea is similar to what Gregory Maguire did when writing the Wicked series.

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