Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good vs. Evil

When you come up with characters, you have to decide on whether or not your character will be considered good or evil.  There are plenty of gray areas in between to play with, but usually a character has to fall on their side of the line.  What happens when you have a character that has traditionally known to be evil and has been portrayed as a fiend forever but turns out to be good?  Can they overcome the predisposed notions that people have of them?  People have been turning vampires and werewolves from the horror novel/movie bad guys into redeemable people, worthy of love and human relationships.  Audiences have been falling in love these reformed evil creatures and now adore them.  Yet, there are still plenty of evil vampires out there to give us a good scare and remind up to lock our doors and windows at night.

What happens when you take a character that had been predetermined to be good and turn them evil?  I have been dealing a lot with angels in my books, but they aren't the Heavenly creatures that save people from burning buildings.  These angels all once started out as good creatures, but over time have been influenced by humanity and their wicked free will.  Now the shiny beautiful creatures are tarnished and are choosing sides.  Will they stay with God?  Will they strike out on their own?  I am playing with the ideas of good characters being less than good and evil characters being less than evil.  I don't think good and evil are as cut and dry anymore.  Evil has become redeemable, but what about good?

Think about the night in shining armor that rescues the girl from the dragon and the action hero that kills the bad guys and gets to kiss the girl in the end.  Now what happens if the dragon was really the one who was trying to rescue the girl and the night in shining armor had ulterior motives and wasn't really trying to hurt the girl?  What if the bad guys that are killed by the action hero are the ones who were stalking our supposed hero because he was running an illegal drug ring and our bad guys were really vigilantes helping the girl?  The lines become blurred when you try and decide a character's motivation.  Some of them are doing what is considered evil but for the right reasons.  How is a girl to know who to believe?  It becomes a matter of perspective.  I think it's time for the girl to decide for herself who's motivations are true and who is trying to snow her.  If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.  Or maybe she should stop looking to her white knight to come along and get herself out of trouble.

While I'm trying to write a strong female character, I still want her to fall in love and care for people, but at the same time, I'm trying to teach her that black isn't necessarily evil and white isn't always good.  She has to evaluate each situation and decide for herself what is real.  I want her to forget about the preconceived notions of different creatures and look at what they are doing before deciding to trust them.  Maybe there shouldn't be good vs evil.  Maybe there should just be, open your eyes and ears and figure out what makes sense.

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