Writing about Bad Guys


I’m not the first to notice this — but it’s easier, and sometimes it’s more fun, to write about bad guys.

I’m not entirely sure why that is.

Maybe its because they’re more dramatic. I’ve heard the term, “the spectacle of evil.” I think that’s right, evil has a certain visual appeal. Think of an accident on the highway — that’s bad. If we were more sympathetic and discreet wouldn’t we all avert our eyes? Is that what we do? Nooo. Instead we slow down and rubberneck, nearly causing another accident!

Perhaps another reason bad guys are fun is because we can give vent to our darker passions through them. I can’t tell how often I spoke aloud Sabnock’s lines as I wrote them — or even Gorgon’s.

Good guys, on the other hand, are self-controlled. They’re more often defined by what they don’t do than by what they do. To really understand a good guy you have to get into his head — to witness the drama of the inner-self in conflict with itself.

Good guys are capable of visual drama — but only when you drive them to it. And who does that? Why the bad guys, of course!


Explore posts in the same categories: Mortimus on Writing and Books

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