Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Meet Martha Morrison, the Antagonist in THE LETTER

© Can Stock Photo / zdenkamicka
Unlike many of my antagonists, Martha isn't an evil person, although she is extremely annoying. She's the kind of person who gets under your skin like a bad rash.

Martha and leading man Danny dated briefly, and Danny told her upfront there would be no strings attached. What he didn't know was that the recently divorced Martha had been married to her high school sweetheart, the only man she'd ever dated. Lonely and vulnerable, Martha ignored Danny's conditions and latched onto him, believing that he was the man she was destined to spend her life with. Danny met Stephanie a few weeks later and ended his relationship with Martha. But even without Stephanie, Danny had already decided to move on. 

Martha's reaction to their breakup wasn't what Danny expected. She thinks Danny simply needs a time out, and she fully supports him dating other women. In her mind, dating other women will prove to him, once and for all, that she's the only woman for him, and she's willing to wait for as long as it takes. In the meantime, she'll stay in touch. She starts with emails and text messages, but when a family member openly disapproves, she switches tactics and starts writing hand-written letters to eliminate an electronic paper trail. She also thinks hand-written letters are more romantic. And while Danny never responds to any of her messages, he's keeping all of her letters in a file to build a case against her; a move that, will, unfortunately, have serious unintended consequences for him.

Unlike like Craig Walker, Martha isn't a stalker, nor has she set out to intentionally cause any harm. She's a desperately lonely woman, afraid of being on her own, and unable to accept the fact that Danny isn't love with her.

We have a saying in the writing business that goes, You can't make this stuff up. Martha is loosely based on a woman who dated a friend's husband before he married my friend. The old girlfriend kept writing him love letters after they'd broken up because she believed he'd come back to her someday, but he of course never did. 


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