Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hate, But Only in Small Doses

An anonymous person asked in a comment to "Falling in Love" if I could write about a character I hate. The answer is yes . . . with one stipulation: the hated character would have to be a secondary character. I really like my main villain in Temple, but I would never, ever want to create a story from his perspective or about just him.

My hesitation is this: What if that was the book that sparked a huge fan base? Would I then feel compelled to write additional books with this character that I hated? Even if I "loved to hate" them at first, I'm sure I would eventually just hate them. I spend a lot of time with these imaginary people. Would you want to visit with your most hated enemy every day for hours at a time? Worse yet, would you want to be in the head of someone whose values/morals/judgment/very essence you didn't respect or enjoy?

While it never would have occurred to me to cast a character I despised as my main character, other authors have been "forced" into it. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was with Sherlock Holmes. So was Agatha Christie with Hercule Poirot. Both authors hated their main characters when they wrote them (thinking simply to create, then kill them), only to have their fans rave for more.

I shudder to think of a life of fame and fortune brought about by hate and loathing. I'd rather have fame and fortune brought about by love and delight any day. But I guess that makes me normal.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Gosh, what happens if you start out loving your main character(s), and then get sick of them? I always wonder about Diana Gabaldon and her immensely popular characters Claire and Jamie. Even when she tries to branch out into other storylines (like with Lord John), it's just crickets.