neme1I always hear the word NEMESIS when referring to literature. I can explain it simple as this. A good book should have a protagonist and an antagonist. An antagonists antagonizes the protagonist. Therefore, the antagonist is a NEMESIS. It is a thorn in the protagonist’s side.

I grew up reading comics. Superman super . Batman bat. Archie arch . Richie Rich rich.

All of these comics had good guys and bad guys. The bad guys were the NEMESIS. Superman’s NEMESIS is Darkseid dark and Lex Luthor lex . (Others will say, “No! It is only Lex Luthor!” But I am a real comic book reader from the seventy’s; trust me when I tell you it is both :D) Batman’s NEMESIS is The Joker joker. Archie Andrews NEMESIS is Reggie Mantle reg. And Richie Rich’s NEMESIS is Reggie VanDough, his cousinreg van . (Yeah, family is a piece of work.)

Some might say, “Comic book is not real literature.” But I beg to differ. Comics have everything real literature has. Think about it! Characters? Check. Setting? Check. Plot? Check. Rising action? Check. Climax? Check. Falling action? Check. Resolution? Check. And the best part is the use of ONOMATOPOEIA. Bam! Whack! Pow! (The Batman comics are notorious for these.)

untitled (34)Let’s look at one of my favorite books of all time, ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY by Mildred Taylor. The main character (protagonist) is Cassie Logan. The antagonist (the character that ANTAGONIZES Cassie) is Lillian Jean, a young Caucasian girl from a racist family.

Basically, a NEMESIS is the enemy of the main character. There is no other way to explain it. So good books have a PLOT driven by CONFLICT which is initiated by the CHARACTERS (protagonist and antagonist) and in the RESOLUTION the protagonists is rewarded for his virtues and the antagonist/NEMESIS is punished for his evil.

Now go and write a scene where the NEMESIS is getting what he or she deserves. Make it good; the world only wants to read good books. At least, I know I do.



  1. I’ve always loved the word nemesis, and usually I end finding the bad guy more entertaining than the bad guy. 🙂 And what is it about the name Reggie that causes them to be the bad guy in comics?

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,

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