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I don’t know about you, but I usually root for the more complex character in the story. If this, to my mind, is the supporting character, so be it. And too bad for the writer if it happens to be the villain.
These days it’s fashionable to make a villain complex. I’m grateful for this, not being much of a fan of moustache twirling, snickering fiends. That said, this fashion has had a bit of an adverse effect. Some writers put so much focus into creating this awesome bad guy that they forget that the hero needs to be three dimensional too. No awesome bad guy should conceivably be beaten by a stick figure.
And yet this happens more often than readers would like to admit. It just… well… leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.
As a result, I focus quite a lot on character complexity when I write. To me, it’s more than one positive, one negative, one habit, one quirk. In fact, I don’t design my characters.
I assume they’re fully formed and spend a draft or two getting to know them. I discover things they hate, but also the levels to which those things are tolerated. Conversely, I know what the characters want, but also at what point they think something’s too much of a good thing.
I know their secrets (if they show me), I know what annoys them for no reason. Often times, I understand why those things annoy them even if they don’t.
Best thing about all this is that, because I discovered all this on the page, the reader will discover these things too. And through that, they glimpse the many facets that make up my characters.
As a result, though, my characters aren’t sweet. Well one is, but she has a temper. Or the other guy… oh wait, he’s hiding something. Or… nope. He’s a bit of a manipulator. But you know what? I prefer my characters on the heroic side of wicked. It’s just that much more interesting to see someone stand up for the right thing despite their characteristics, than having someone stand up because hey, he’s perfect, so why wouldn’t he?
How do you make your characters complex?
When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.
Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.
M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.
She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.
If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blog. You can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.
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Come back Wednesday for From The Great Beyond Bloghop!
Wish I could get the linky to work. Alas, Blogger is being cranky. But if you want to sign up for this fun and easy hop, go to Tara, Angela or Roland's to sign up. Just post on Wednesday about a writer you'd like to contact from the great beyond, hop around to comment, then come back on Thursday (Halloween!) to find out who wins.