The Instigator asked me once if I’d ever written a character that scared the hell out of me. Like, shaking, stomach-turning-because-you-didn’t-know-you-had-it-in-you-and-now-you’re-questioning-your-own-sanity kind of frightened. That has to be one of the most interesting questions anyone’s ever asked me about my writing. Can you guess what my answer was? Ha!
Of course! My guys might go out of their way not to be upstanding citizens and enjoy gallivanting around on the dark side all of the time, but even they have lines they won’t cross! Warped and blurred as they may be – sometimes, they have enemies that are just plain evil. It happens. Is it easy to write? Hell, no. Writing from the head of the plot’s main enemy can be anywhere from draining, to downright nauseating. So, why do it? Because, readers are both highly intelligent and highly critical over details. They are not, for one second, going to be fooled by or happy with a standoff where the (ahem) hero is far more intimidating than the villain – or at least more morally corrupt.
Since these matters are really subject to personal taste, however, I’m rather inspired to turn these questions onto all of the other writers and readers out there:
- Have you ever created a character that made you scared, sick, or unsure of your own sanity?
- Who was the most frightening character you’ve ever read in a fictional book?
- Outside of characters, have you ever written or read about a fictional scenario/place that bordered on excessive disgust and made you not even want to finish reading or writing the story?
- Either as a writer or reader, do you think that seriously depraved, frightening villains make stories better?
Thanks in advance to all who take time to answer these, who may find them even fun to answer, or at least a tad bit inspiring for their own pondering. I can’t wait to see what you all have to say!