March IWSG: Heroes vs. Villains

Today I’m participating in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. Click the image below, or follow along the list at the bottom of this post, to follow other insecure writers and read their responses.

This month’s prompt asks, Whose perspective do you prefer to write from: the hero/protagonist, or the villain/antagonist?

My fiction is centered around realistic women who face everyday obstacles. So far, I’ve only written from the heroine/protagonist’s perspective — because my characters aren’t going up against actual bad guys. There are no cloaked witches or creepy villains or bands of dragons or invading hordes of aliens to defeat. Most of the women in my stories have faced their biggest antagonists in the form of circumstances to overcome and misbeliefs to correct.

Maybe someday I’ll craft a novel where the main character faces down an external antagonist, but right now I’m really enjoying exploring the ways women can be our own worst enemies.

Have you ever heard Andrew Peterson’s song, “Be Kind to Yourself?” (That song never fails to make me cry, for one thing, so go download it to your phone and add it to your Spotify playlists.)


There’s a line that asks, “How does it end when the war that you’re in is just you against you against you? You gotta learn to love, learn to love your enemies too.”

See, I think there’s something inside all of us that longs for stories about defeating lies and overcoming the circumstances that tell us we can’t or won’t or don’t measure up

That’s how my life feels. My enemy — my antagonist — isn’t a scary monster or a criminal bad guy. It’s my anxiety, my anger, or my lack of faith. It’s my fear in the face of a diagnosis or the way I react to past traumas. And I have a hunch I’m not the only one. What’s more, I have a hunch that the way I’ve battled those enemies — the lessons I’ve learned — would resonate with women all over the world.

So that’s what I write. I hope & pray that my stories, whenever they hit the wider world, will be uplifting and encouraging because of the way they speak to the “villains” we all face.

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MICHELLE NEBEL

I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!

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16 thoughts on “March IWSG: Heroes vs. Villains”

  1. I agree with you that looking inside is always interesting, even if it doesn’t feel good sometimes. I think miscommunication is always the “antagonist” in any person’s story. Whether with ourselves or with others. I like your answer.

  2. Michelle, thank you for visiting my blog and your helpful comment re critique partners. I write from the protagonist’s POV but do have antagonists who are well fleshed out. No cardboard cutouts. Happy writing! Hope I see more of you. Perhaps you’d consider joining the WEP/IWSG bloghop where we practise our flash fiction, story extracts or even poetry and non fiction on a supportive audience. Would love to see you there.

  3. Even when a story has a defined protagonist and antagonist, every character struggles with the internal man/woman against self. I write dark/horror and like to write from both POVs, since each character has a bit of both in them.

    • That’s such a great point! Understanding how a character is her “own worst enemy” does mean understanding the antagonist. I like the way you put that!

  4. Hello again Michelle, thank you for commenting on my post.
    This is wonderful. So wise and uplifting for us woman, and men, who battle with our inner villains.
    Hopefully we all manage to conquer them and emerge stronger and a better person. If outside villains get in the way, learn to ‘leave them behind’ as one of my good friends Robin Best, taught me many years ago when I was so,so young and he was older and wiser. May you be at peace Robin, wherever you are.
    Beautiful song, that I didn’t know. Thank you.

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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

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