V is for Versus

Some stories are about one person, or multiple people reaching towards the same goal, and working towards that goal side-by-side or together. Lots of stories, even if they have an antagonist, don’t have a clear Character A against Character B plot.
And yet, many stories do. Many stories are all about the Versus. A vs. B, Good vs. Evil, School vs. Competing School.
Some do this on a small scale, like in Harriet the Spy, when Harriet and her classmates become temporary enemies. Some do it on a big scale, like the Harry Potter series where the fate of the wizarding world hangs in the balance. And some have a Versus that is absolutely massive, like Stephen King’s It, where a group of kids/later adults take on Evil itself.
I don’t think all stories need a Vs. plot. And, unfortunately, I think some stories try to throw this kind of Versus in when it’s not necessary. But when it’s done correctly, I love the Versus plot. It creates epic story lines, and character relationships that stick in your mind.
So what do you think, do you like pitting one character/group against another?

2 Responses so far.

  1. I tend to be drawn to stories with a little bit (or a lot…) of political intrigue involved, so I love "versus" stories because it can make for some interesting tension!
  2. I rather like the old antagonist-adversary in a story. Still, when bigger elements, like, environment become the force against the hero, that's exciting, too. Have to have something for the hero to fight or struggle against.

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