For the better part of the week I’ve been avoiding my wip. There have been many a reason I’ve told myself why this is, but the truth is I hadn’t found the actual reason until now. I’m afraid of my character or, more accurately, I’m afraid of writing this character. As many of you know I’ve decided to write a section from the villain’s perspective and it’s probably the most disturbing thing I’ve had to write thus far. A tyrannical state bend on punishment and enslavement of the masses is one thing, but to write a character in all his three dimensional glory who believes in such a thing is quite another.
Let me be clear, this person is the embodiment of all I see wrong with this world. He is the reason things are the way they are and to write him as he needs to be, as the material dictates, requires me to have compassion for him and for those people. To exist in a world of black and white, where one is either all good or all bad, is a comfort just as much as it is a painful limitation in life experience necessitated by, in my opinion, serious trauma. A favorite author of mine wrote most of her characters in such a fashion and, even though her works are/have been quite pivotal for me, this unwillingness to draw villains realistically left the application of her notions falling short in the eyes of the populace.
All that said, I still sit here writing a blog post instead of working on this character. A character whom, for all intents and purposes, just as vital to the story as the heroine. This is an instance where I sit and think of how to attack this problem and I begin to think that “telling” would be so much easier; it would enable me to have a greater separation from the character. In the interest of the work, in writing it damnably well, I am going to “show” thereby confronting all demons I intellectually acknowledge and doing so, hopefully, with heart and possibly optimism. Alas, I now understand why so many villains are 2-D.
Does sympathy for “the bad guy” ever freak you out? How? When?
**Commenting on Blogspot: Sorry I am that I have been unable to leave comments on many a Blogspot blog. There seems to be some kind of error with WP users commenting with Open ID that has not been fixed yet. Yeah. Interestingly enough this problem is supposed to be “regional” so SOME blogs I’ve been successful in commenting on while most of them I have not. I’ve tried, really I have, and so I will continue to try in hopes the problem is resolved sooner rather than later.