Writing Dark Characters

The most fun I have when writing is creating dark characters. I prefer the term ‘dark’ to ‘bad’ as I believe everyone has an element of darkness within, whereas ‘bad’ seem to imply a caricature of the antagonist from a black and white movie. Dark characters are not always that obvious to the reader, and an element of deciding how a character is perceived is left up to the reader.

I love writing dark characters whom the reader may not necessarily see in that light straight away. For example, Ella, the young murderer in ‘The Divine Pumpkin’, is bright, well-educated, a blue-eyed blonde girl, who has committed a heinous crime, that doesn’t sit well with some readers. I don’t want my dark characters to necessarily look brooding, with a scar on their face, living in a squat. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get my drift.

I sometimes like to throw in elements that might make the reader feel some sympathy or understanding towards the dark character; perhaps shedding some light on where their darkness stems from, as seen with Walker in ‘Attic of the Mind’. However, their past experiences are not an excuse for their current behaviour, and it’s up to the reader how far they’ll extend their understanding towards that character.

Writing dark characters allows me as a writer to say and act out the way I would never do in real life – thank goodness, I hear my friends cry. Readers hopefully understand that what I write is fiction, dredged-up from the dark recesses of my imagination, not based on actions I have carried out.

Embrace the darkness in your writing.

Happy Word Flow One & All

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