Writing about bad guys is so much better than writing about good guys. Here’s why:
1. My daughter was cast as the wicked witch in her school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. No one ever sat through the movie saying “When does Dorothy come out again?” (Yeah, she got the lead).
2. We get a warm fuzzy feeling when we think of the shitty people in our lives and then write a character possessing all their flaws. It’s a different warm fuzzy than the part in the book when your kind, generous great-aunt Pearl makes an appearance.
3. The bad guys’ behavior is often stranger then fiction. Taking candy from a kid is not nearly as believable as the person who ignores a kid when they’re begging for simple things, like attention. “I can’t make this stuff up” comes to mind.
4. Antagonizing is much more fun than protagonizing. Who protagonizes?
5. Bad guys have much more room to grow (hopefully) and come out smelling like roses when making the right choices. Of course in real life most bad guys stay bad and the story of the antagonist’s disappointment is gripping as well.
6. It’s not hard to take every ex-boyfriend’s bad guy behaviors and sprinkle them around to characters in our books. These bad guys and their shitty acts stick out to us clearer than the time they were nice and brought us breakfast in bed.
Up next, bad guys who are good guys, oh my!