I've been so busy with guest blogging and promoting that I haven't had a chance to do the Alternative Read Author Blog Hop, but the question was so perfect I had to join in today. When creating a main character, is it better to start with a good guy/girl with a drop of bad, or a bad guy/girl with a drop of good?
Things immediately get a bit gray for me when I begin to write a character. For instance, my hero in Vampire Dreams, Brandon, is supposed to be the good guy, particularly compared to the bad guy, Vasilije, but let's face it: if he were all good, he wouldn't go to Arden's room each night and seduce her under the veil of hypnotism. Nice guys just don't do that. Or my hero in Stolen Destiny, Varek, who is also the good guy compared to the villain, Amon. Varek murdered two people. Now the murders were a crime of passion, but be that as it may, the guy has a dark past.
What Brandon and Varek show, however, is that characters aren't all good or all bad. Good guys with some bad in them make for layered characters. I don't want to read about or write one trick ponies, characters who are good all the time. And I don't think readers want this either. Especially for me, male characters who are conflicted are the best to read and write.
As for what to do with the main character, it depends on the plot. In Stolen Destiny, Varek is the lead, and he's good, for the most part, with a bunch of bad in his past. However, in the second book in that series, the villain from Stolen Destiny, Amon, is the main character, and he begins where the first story ended: mad, bad, and dangerous to know. But he's got a little good in him. It's just buried under a lot of badness. And if I decide to write Vasilije's story from Vampire Dreams, then again, I've got a character who revels in so many bad things that he will begin that way, but somewhere in that dark, sensual soul I could let a little drop of sweetness in. Maybe.
Hop around to the other blog hoppers to check out what they have to say about the good vs bad question today. And have a great Thursday!