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How to be Bad

Recently, I added a chapter to my book from my antagonist’s point-of-view.  After completing it, I felt a strange sense of relief that I’d created something to add to the growing tension in my book.  But after hearing responses from others, the phrase “a nice guy trying to be bad” stuck in my head.  I read over the chapter multiple times wondering how I could create an antagonist with a darker side, but it wasn’t until today that I realized the problem was me. 

When I sit down to write from my main character’s point-of-view, I constantly ask myself what she’d really do or really say, and then I take great pride in giving my character a voice through my writing.  But that’s not what I did for my “bad guy.”  I handled his chapter as if it was a tool that I, the writer, needed in order to create greater tension.

Once this thought dawned on me, it became apparent that I’d need to find my bad guy’s voice, and what was more, I’d need to not just know his motivation, but empathize towards it.  My novel isn’t just a story about one person trying to do what is right.  Each character has their own story.  My antagonist has his own thoughts, needs, and desires, and to him, he is the good guy.

So today, I intend to sit down and write his chapter again.  Only this time, I’m aiming to make him a bad guy who thinks he’s one of the good guys.  It might be a little hard for me, but I guess I’ll just have to embrace my darker side.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s oh so fun to be bad! Find that hidden tough chick and let her loose!


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