So, the way I hear it is that you can’t have a good story without conflict, and in order to have conflict, you need an antagonist. If there’s no bad guy, then what are the good guys fighting for anyway? Well, since The Pharaoh is a retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast, there needs to be a bad guy who’s after the beauty and wants to kill the beast.
Who is our Gaston then? Aniath!
The funny thing is, Lizzy and I didn’t introduce a true antagonist until Chapter 12! Now that may seem, odd, but I like it. I like how at first there is no “bad guy”, the only conflict is the situation between Husn and Seti. But then I knew it was time to bring in Gaston, or our equivalent to Gaston. The best part about it, is that when the antagonist is introduced, it works out better that it’s later rather than sooner. So, who is Aniath? His true name is Anittas, and he is the commander of the Hittite armies. He and fifty other Hittites snuck into Egypt and learned to look, act, talk, and be Egyptian, as well as take on Egyptian names, so Anittas became Aniath. He is a proud and vengeful man, who wants to kill Pharaoh Seti for killing his brother in battle two years prior to the story’s start. And yes, he falls for Husn! There’s even a few lines like, “No one hunts like Aniath.” I had to throw a little Gaston humor in there. :-)
Excerpt Number 3
So, as a treat, he is the third except our NaNoWriMo project, The Pharaoh, but something with the antagonist, Aniath, in it. the scene is that after visiting the palace to give Husn a gift, Aniath runs into Seti for the first time. Please keep in mind two things, the first is that this is a “vomit draft”. I wrote it, checked it over once, then sent it to Lizzy. It will be cleaned up and polished later. The second thing is that this scene is taken from Seti’s point of view. Here it is, enjoy:
As he walked giving his assistant orders for the next day, a tall and muscular man walked by with a guard who was holding something in his hand. Something that looked like an animal fur. The guard immediately stopped walking and bowed to him. The other man, who looked a little odd noticed who he was standing before and dropped to the floor. But Seti noticed a slight hesitation before he took action.
“My lord, Pharaoh,” the man said in a deep voice that reverberated off the walls of the palace. “May the gods smile down upon you and give you long life.”
The guard nervously took the man’s arm to lift him up and pull him away. “Come, merchant. Do not pester the Pharaoh with your squabblings.” Then he said to Seti, “Forgive me, my lord, I was seeing him out.”
Seti looked down at this strange man. Something didn’t sit right with him, but Seti couldn’t put a finger on it. He handed his assistant the parchment that he was holding and said, “Who are you, and why are you in my palace?”
The man looked up and met his eyes. He was brave, Seti had to give him that. “My lord, I am your servant, Aniath, a humble hunter and merchant of furs. I was here to offer a gift to your servant, Husn, the Oracle.”
Seti thought about this. Who was this man to offer gifts to his servant? On the other hand, she was a beautiful woman, would he be expected to be the only person in Egypt to find her so? He surpressed his spontaneous jealousy and decided to be civil to this stranger. “A gift?”
“Yes, my lord,” Aniath said, still looking at him. “I gave her my best fur.” He pointed up to the guard, who was holding the golden fur.
Pharaoh stretched out his hand and the guard handed it over. The fur was course, but beautiful. “She rejected this?” he said hopefully.
“No, my lord,” Aniath said.
“My lord,” the guard said with a bow. “The Oracle gave the fur to me. After I escort this man from the palace I shall be placing it into her room, if that pleases you.”
“That is fine,” Seti said. He opened the fur and looked at it. It was gorgeous. “This is a lion’s fur, is it not?”
Aniath smiled. “My Pharaoh knows his animal skins. Yes, it is. I gave it to Husn as a gift, the finest fur on my cart.”
This was true, his father liked to hunt, and he had taught Seti how to do so when he was a boy, but he had not had the time or desire to hunt for seven years. He rubbed his hands over the golden brown fur. “This is a fine fur, Aniath. Did you kill this lion yourself?”
“Yes, my lord. A few weeks ago. He is not the first lion I have killed. Where I come from, they say that one hunts like Aniath.”
Seti laughed. This man had a boastful nature to him, and Seti found himself liking and hating the man at the same time. “On that, I beg to differ.”
Aniath’s face turned red. Seti guessed that he wanted nothing more than to argue and rant about his greatest deeds in the wild.
-Excerpt from Chapter 25 of The Pharaoh by Elizabeth Hefty and Andrew Ronzino
On a side note, I may not update tomorrow, as I will be attending the first midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in IMAX, then I have a 6:00am flight to New York, so I’m going to be out of commission for a few days. Lizzy rocks and said she’ll cover for my chapters! I’m super excited because my sister, Alece will be home when I am. I haven’t seen her in two years! I’m happy she’ll be there!
Current word count for The Pharaoh: 44,848/50,000
Until next time,
Andrew Ronzino, AKA Tracer Bullet