It’s April again and that means it’s time for the A to Z challenge and this year, my theme for the A to Z Challenge is characters and narrators.
V is for Vengeful Characters
Distilled down to their most basic form, stories of any kind are all about the struggle.
Does your character have a perfect life, with no flaws, no money problems, no obstacles, and everything their heart desires? Well then, chances are it’s not a very good story. But you already know that, and you know that there has to be a conflict for it to be interesting….otherwise, what’s the point in reading it?
But what do you do when you have a character with fire in their belly and anger in their hearts? It doesn’t matter if it’s your hero/heroine, the villain, or a side character – how do you write them so that your character isn’t caricature?
Answer: Same way porcupines mate…very carefully. 😉
People with vengeance on their mind tend to be dramatic, prone to making bad decisions, and broody over their plans/repercussions of their actions. Play one item up too much (like evil laughter in the corner with handles steepled in maniacal glee) and your character is chewing the scenery in your carefully constructed play (unless of course you’re writing a comedy, and then by all means go for it).
I have yet to write a vengeful character well…partially because I have trouble maintaining an overly dark atmosphere in my novels for a vengeful character to thrive in and partially because, well you know, we’re all our worst critics and can’t help but tear our own work to shreds. :p
Notable vengeful characters:
- The punisher
- Liam Neeson’s character in Taken
- Ruth (Roseanne Barr’s character) in She-Devil – by the way, this is also an amusing book (The Life and Loves of a She Devil)
- Porter from Payback