The Unlikeable Ones

I’m still having trouble getting on track with this new novel. I broke the siege of writer’s block. It’s not that. I’ve written 15 chapters so far, but I have discovered I have difficulty creating characters who are inherently evil. These characters are the kind who wouldn’t know a kind thought if it slapped them in the face. You know the type, right? I want these people  to be black to the core, and the best I can do it come up with a weak shade of gray.

I think I’ve pinpointed the heart of the problem. I have never met any such a person, and I truly don’t want to meet someone so sinister. So how do I let my imagination travel into such territory? I’ve read books with such characters, and of course, I see them on the television every night in prime time—(I admit it, I watch cop shows), but these resources haven’t helped much.

Unlike other characters, these “bad guys” don’t whisper in my ear. Maybe it’s because I shut them out? Or maybe it’s because no one is all bad or all good? I’m not sure. All I know is these unsavory, pain-in-the-backside bullies frustrate me. It’s so serious, I’ve even thought about not pursuing this storyline, but then the stinkers win, don’t they? So what’s a writer to do?

I’d welcome suggestions. Speak to me. I think being a good person is getting in my way.

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2 thoughts on “The Unlikeable Ones

  1. Baddies don’t have to be inherently bad – you’re probably better off writing about a character you like and then giving them an edge. Get them to do something unsavoury (like hint that they may have killed someone in the past). I think it’s better to make them a bit shady in the beginning and build on that. Characters don’t need to be ‘pure evil’ to make them scary. Some of the scariest characters I’ve seen are the smooth types that people want to like until they see the knife at their throat. But whichever way you go, it’s important that you believe in them – otherwise your readers won’t believe in them.

    Hope this helps in some way and good luck 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the advice. I do know that a character with dimension must be more shades of gray than black and white. I like your comment about making them smooth until the eleventh hour. I’ll give that a try. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

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