Alternate Universe

One of my favorite things about writer twitter are the daily questions that folks pose – some of which get you to think about things relating to your main characters or story that you might not have otherwise. One such question popped up recently:

Screenshot from twitter account @AuthorHFerry that reads "What would would the title of your book be if your antagonist was the main character? #WritingQ #WritersOfTwitter Mine would be: The Whispers"

My initial response was – I had a hard enough time trying to come up with the title for the story as is! [nervous laughter]

But then I thought about it a bit, and I really liked the prompt (one I might have to borrow for my fiction students!) – we are, after all, the heroes of our own stories. Of course the antagonist would have their own version with their own title.

For my book All Falling Things, there are two external antagonists for Alice. The first, Cat, was a tricky one to think of a title for – and I’m still not sure I like it, but I dove into her Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland alternate character (the caterpillar) and (from a piece of the caterpillar’s dialogue) came up with Are You Content Yet? I’m not 100% satisfied with it, though it is fitting for who Cat is. While she’s willing to wait for what she wants, she doesn’t have the patience to deal with people who don’t know what they want. The other external antagonist is Alice’s mother, Vivian Hart. Her title was easy: Mother Knows Best.

Funnily enough, these titles would work for Stanley’s side of things, too. Cat is one of his external antagonists, as well, though instead of a know-it-all mother, his other antagonist’s title would be Father Knows Best.

The main antagonist in Alice’s story is internal – Alice’s struggle against herself, all the notions she was raised with, battling against what she’s told to want so that she can figure out what she actually wants. If the story was based just on her perspective (rather than the dual narrator) and the attempt to quiet her mother’s voice in her own head, I (jokingly) imagine it would be something along the lines of this (screenshot from Lucifer, Season Five, Episode Ten “Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam”):

Screenshot from Lucifer, Season Five, Episode Ten "Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam" showing a close up of the character Lucifer with closed captions that read "[pounds table] Madam, please! Ground your helicopter!"

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