Post date: Apr 15, 2013 12:46:28 PM
I've always found it hard to relate to my antagonist in Within Shouting Distance, Fred Castille. I think it stems from a lack of understand of his motivation...or perhaps my fledgling writing abilities.
I've recently been trying to understand my antagonist more (I hesitate to use the word villain because, to me, villain represents someone who is truly evil and unable to be redeemed. Yes, there are villains out there in literature, but I'd like to think my main antagonist isn't one of them).
So, I began to dig deeper into his character history. I wanted to understand what caused him to become a bully. Did he have abusive parents? Was he bullied?
Then, I began to wonder if ordinary kids with ordinary lives could become bullies just as easily as those with some sort of dysfunction in their lives (and who doesn't have some?). But would that make him interesting or sympathetic? Did I even want him to be?
So, as the character evolves, he begins to take on this subtle difference and becomes more "real"...to me. And, hopefully, he'll become more real to you, the reader, as well. Because that's the goal, creating larger than life characters who are, at the same time, relate-able...Or is that just my goal?