DZ-51: Antagonists! (Part 3) – vs Nature

What changes in your story if your antagonistic forces can’t be bargained with?

In this Part Three of our Five Part Epic Exploration™ into antagonistic forces (and sources of conflict), Chas & Stu explore “nature” antagonists, including some supernatural ones. What became clear in doing the homework (and recording this episode twice) was that the antagonistic forces – whether natural or supernatural – presented different narrative challenges to the protagonists if (a) they did not seem to make choices and (b) could not be bargained with or defeated.

And so we embarked upon ALL IS LOST, THE GREY and CONTAGION — with special mentions of THE VVITCH, WORLD WAR Z, ZOMBIELAND, ANNIHILATION, ALIEN, ALIENS and probably some others we’ve forgotten. 

Stu elaborates on his distinction between obstacles and pressure; Chas riffs on how nature antagonists can mirror the protagonist and reinforce theme; and they both explore the effect on protagonists who are pushed to their limits by antagonists that cannot be reasoned with.


Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. Watch it on on YouTube. Transcripts on GitHub and

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