Adopt an Author begins this week and our 4 classes have already come up with some excellent questions for their authors. We’re looking forward to sharing some of their answers with you over the next 8 weeks.
This is a good question – which is another way of saying I’ve no idea how to answer it. I’m now trying to think back and remember any completely evil characters in my writing. There may be one or two tucked away somewhere, but for instance I don’t consider the Pearce sisters evil. I think they’ve been wronged and it all just got terribly out of hand after that. I hear actors say that whatever character they’re playing they have to find his/her humanity or something they can relate to, and I imagine it’s similar when creating characters for a piece of fiction. Most characters I write (or the situations they find themselves in) are of interest to me and therefore carry some small element of me. If a character was irredeemably evil my hunch is that he/she would be a bit of a bore. I was told when I did a Creative Writing course a long time ago that when you’re writing dialogue you have to be careful to make both characters real and three-dimensional so that you have balance and conflict – the temptation is to have one character saying things that just offer the other (usually, more likeable) character opportunities to say witty things. Audiences will sniff this out and be unconvinced.