The Appeal of the Dark Side

What is it about writing an antagonist or ”villain” that is so damn fun?  Right now I am at a part in my novel writing where I am telling the story from the point of view of the antagonist, and  I have to say that I am having a blast with writing a character that’s a total dick.  Perhaps it is just the change of pace in both scene and character.  But I also feel that it is refreshing to write from the perspective of a character that does not have the same sense of morality, and doesn’t have the same type of goals as my protagonist. The antagonist allows me to explore and experiment with thoughts and behaviors I would not normally associate with in everyday life and I definitely wouldn’t condone.  Perhaps that is part of the appeal, to create a polar opposite of myself, to delve into the psyche of someone who’s  morally bankrupt yet doesn’t perceive themselves that way. A villain that doesn’t  believe what he’s doing is evil, is a fascinating idea.   Of course there’s always the risk of taking an ‘evil’ character too far and ending up with a cartoon-ish character.  I prefer characters that no matter how outlandish they may be, there’s still an ounce or two of realism to them.  I think one way to avoid the cartoon-ish villain and make him more realistic is to give him some qualities which are inherently good.  Whether it be the villain is a loving father, donates his time to a local food kitchen, or whatever,  that ounce of goodness adds to the depth of the character.  A character that is the personification of evil and has no good traits comes across as flat, especially if you’re dealing with human characters.


4 thoughts on “The Appeal of the Dark Side

  1. A little scary sometimes how easy it is to slide into that role. I think it’s b/c normal people are boring. I mean I’m a normal(ish) person, I don’t want to read or write about someone like me.That’s the scary part of horror for me these days is just how easy I slip into the mind of the demented and knowing it’s wrong to like it that much. I’ve had some characters do some pretty sick stuff now and I find it eerie how fun those parts are to write. I catch myself smiling ear to ear when I write those parts. I don’t know if that’s good or bad it’s just the way it is.


  2. Pingback: Caruna diTenchi,the Barone | Rodney

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