by Adam Huddleston
“Wow, Adam. Have you really run out of relevant topics to blog about? Is this really going to be about aluminum foil?”
In writing, a foil is a character that exists as an opposite to the main character. They are sometimes used to show a specific attribute of the protagonist. This does not mean that the foil is necessarily the antagonist of the story. The antagonist’s role is generally to drive the plot forward for the protagonist.
The foil can sometimes be a secondary character or the protagonist’s “side-kick”. Examples include: the evil Lord Voldemort to the good Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series and the strong BigWig to the feeble Fiver in Watership Down.
A writer of fiction can employ the use of a foil to make their characters and plots much deeper and enjoyable for the reader.