In many ways, writing Kanhoji Angre is a writer’s dream.
A little background. The year is 1715. The British Empire sends Charles Boone to serve as Governor of Bombay. When he arrives, Boone is stunned by the resignation of the British traders and military generals when it comes to taking on the Marathas, more specifically taking on Kanhoji Angre.
The story is special because its premise is simple. It is a faceoff of two minds, Boone and Angre. Both men are smart, even cunning to an extent, and both do not accept anything less than total victory.
This template of telling a story such as this isn’t new. And yet, it presents one of the most intriguing forms of storytelling. Putting two equally matched personalities in a straight up battle.
The Two Forces
In a faceoff between two formidable forces, the mistake readers generally make is to look at differences between the two. As readers, we feel a natural urge to categorize one side as being the protagonist and the other as the antagonist.
For instance, let’s look at the Batman and the Joker. By now, we are almost trained to view Batman as the hero and the Joker as the villain. However, let’s drop the practice of using morality to assign hero and villain tags and view these two character subjectively. The Batman and the Joker are very similar. Both are smart, extremely competent, and have a general respect for each other’s abilities. Both have the ability to play a very consequential role in the fate of Gotham.
Come to think of it, both of them have the same goal as well. The Batman and the Joker both fight over one thing. Gotham City. This shows that the best rivalries between two competing forces take place when both have the same goal.
In the case of Kanhoji Angre, we build up to a similar faceoff. Both Angre and Boone are men in powerful positions, capable of being extremely consequential. As a writer, making two men on opposing sides face each other in battle is an enticing proposition. When Achilles called for Hector, even the Gods in heaven stopped to watch. And so, we see what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
The Writers Dilemma. Who wins?
It’s all good building up two sides. But who wins?
There are many ways a writer can choose to end a conflict. The key here is not to think about who wins, but whether both characters stay true to themselves until the end. In the case of Kanhoji Angre, the winner cannot be chosen by the writer because the story is based on an actual event in history.
In case the story is original and not based on any historical event, the ending needs to meet the general narrative tone of the story. To forcefully subvert expectations in the climax is cheap, and something readers no longer appreciate. At all times, the most basic thing a writer can do is stick to character arcs. A great climax can be happy, sad or bittersweet, but it should never be forceful or illogical.
In conclusion, there is only one thing left to say. Go read KANHOJI ANGRE! Click here to download the app.