Archive for April 16, 2007

Writing about Bad Guys, Part 2

April 16, 2007


While there are common elements to good guys, good guys seem easier to distinguish from one another. Good is a fountain of variety. Think of birds. How many species are there? How many can there be? The more “birdness” is expressed, the greater the range of expression.

Bad birds, on the other hand, all devolve into dead birds over time.

In other words, the worse the characters the more alike they are.

On the way down, though, truly bad characters can be distinguished by besetting vices.

Among the bad guys in THE PURLOINED BOY two classes can be discerned. There are what could be called “blue collar” baddies and “white collar” baddies.

What distinguishes them is the nature of their appetites. Both are ravenous, greedy, and downright nasty. But the blue collar lack the refined taste of the white collar.

Sabnock would be satisfied (can evil ever truly be satisfied?) gnawing on Trevor’s leg bone, but Molech wants to gnaw on his soul.