07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is my Character really a bad boy?

I recently entered a contest and received some good scores for my entry with the exception of one judge. Isn't there always that one judge? She didn't like my hero. She thought his behavior wasn't very likable and she actually called him a jerk. In fact, she compared him to my villain. I was in shock! How could this be? I thought I created him to be realistic and someone my readers could sympathize with. Maybe I made him a little too realistic. So I had to ask myself. Is there a little bit of bad boy in my hero?

The answer was yes, of course. I know that the most interesting stories contain characters where the protagonists and the antagonist share personality traits, the same goals and even the same values. So what makes a hero a hero and not a villain?

If a villain and the hero share the same goals, personality traits, and values it must come down to motivation. A hero simply does what he does for good and a villain does what he does for evil and in the CBA market one of his motivations is his relationship with the Lord. Not a bad guy to have on your side when your tackling the hero stuff.

So I'll keep my hero/character just like he is, resembling my villain but having the strength and courage to overcome all that the world has to throw at him with the right motivation and a little help from above.

-Sheila J Goodwin


Monica Stoner said...

There are always those people who don't "get" your characters and they don't want to try. I had a judge complain an ex-mercenary hero was "too harsh." Hello? Ex-mercenary? Not to mention the start of the book, before he's "tamed"

Sarah Raplee said...

Yes, Sheila, there's always that 'one judge! LOL

I'm curious: What are your hero's goals, and what are your villain's goals? I'm trying to apply the points you made to my own hero and villain.

thanks in advance for the help. :)

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Sheila, I do think we can make our characters 'a little too realistic'. I know I do not watch television shows or go to movies that are 'realistic'. I don't find that entertaining and relaxing. The great thing about a book is that I can put it down and go for a walk if it is too intense but I'm still interested in the story.

Tam Linsey said...

Interesting - I never thought of making my hero and my villain have the same goals with different motivations. You've given me food for thought. Thanks.

Sheila Goodwin said...

I can't help but think about Pirates of the Carbean and I love the second movie "dead man's chest" the best because everyone wanted the same thing for different reasons. So who was the villian and who was the hero?

Jack wants the heart to live forever.
Will wants the heart to free his father.
Captain Norrington wants the heart to redeem his name and restore his position
Elizabeth wants the heart to save Will & she from the gallows