Good, Bad, and Somewhere In Between
I don't write children's books. I'd likely sell more books if I did. Maybe I'll actually try to do a children's book tonight.
Good and bad are very fuzzy and transitory terms.
Some books, like life, are filled with characters that are vibrantly nuanced. To some people they're good. To some people they're bad. On some days they burn the sandwiches.
There was a time when I guess, I really did believe in good and, by default, evil or bad. But the really important idea was that I was good... I worked at being good. I was good to other people. I tried to live with honor. I thought... I could be good.
*wiggles fingers, as if I'm doing magic*
Whatever happened, just imagine if a friend of yours wrote a book where a character that was like you - and you were at least the pseudo-antagonist.
I didn't actually read any such book, but it was a shock a lot like that.
It was possible for other people to see me as hurtful, even if I wasn't trying to be antagonistic.
So stories with simplistic characters that are all good or all evil now seem very ... childish to me. Those are the kinds of stories I believed when I was more innocent.
I like character development that show me a characters with a broad range of emotions and motivations. In Redeem Me, August moves from being a spoiled brat who would fapp off in his dad's office to a man who can survive a devastating abduction and find comfort and strength in the love and acceptance of the only man he'd ever really loved.
In Shadow of Wishes (written a long time ago), Daniel moves from being a slave who wishes to escape, to a man who will not bend his will to his abuser's will, even though it cost him his sight.
I'm working on a novel with Connie Wood (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=669561564) and the character I'm writing, Karnin, is going to grow from a brainwashed human weapon to a full human being who loves his mate and protects and nurtures his daughter, as well as serving the kingdom he serves.
I think greatness in writing is rooted in being able to face our selves, the good, the bad, the homely, everything that is who we are. When a story can reach into a reader, validate and nurture them, improve their day, give them smiles, and help them both be more connected to the world and find ways to be a healthier part of the world - that is a wonderful thing. That only happens with characters that are real. Real characters are good and bad, and a lot in between.