Not all is evil that kills people.

February 2, 2010 at 20:02 (General)

Recently, I have revised everything I wrote till the present-day.
And I have noticed one thing.
While there is nothing wrong with my ‘good’ characters, they have their flaws and fears and hopes and dreams, my ‘bad’ characters are a completely different story.

They are kind of flat, one-dimensional, just evil.
They serve one purpose only, to destroy what the good characters love and hold dear.
They have one goal, to drown the world in sorrow and misery.
To have absolute power at their disposal.

In real world it does not work that way, and it is one of those things that I don’t enjoy in books.
I have made some improvement since then.

Evil characters are not meant for people to love them.
Unless the book is about evil being defeated by lesser evil. Then these less evil ‘bad guys’ must have some likable qualities. Readers have to have someone to sympathize with after all.

In books where the forces of good are fighting the forces of evil, the reader is supposed to support the former and despise the latter.
That; however, is, in my opinion, no excuse for creating characters that are completely evil ‘just because’.

Did you know that Vlad the Impaler killed many people because their disloyalty led to the death of his father and brother?
Or that Ivan IV of Russia called Ivan the Terrible has begun his bloody baths because his wife has been poisoned and his boyars (something like knights) refused to swear allegiance to his infant son?

They both were undoubtedly evil and yet they had their reasons. And they both have introduced laws that improved the lives of their people somehow.
Ivan, for example, introduced local self-government and it was his reign that saw the first printing press in Russia.

By no means am I trying to justify their actions.
They only serve as an example here.

Balance is the key.

The evil should have a human face.
Dreams and fears and hopes.
Only those dreams and wants should be opposed to what the ‘good guys’ want.
Those dream can pretty well involve the destruction of the whole universe.

And to put the words into action, I will give my next evil character fear of spiders ;).
Nah, just kidding.
I will give him a good reason, an impulse that will drive him forward.
I will make sure that he feels, fears, dreams and hopes.
I believe that he lurks somewhere already, in dark corners of my mind, hence the topic of the post.
I believe he wants to be created.
I guess I’m going to introduce him to you soon.

Thank you for reading.

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