Bad Guys are Fun! Thanks Boris and Natasha.

Posted: February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

Bad Guys R Fun

I really enjoy the bad guys in a story.  I notice when I’m reading, that I wonder off into thoughts about their backstory – how did they become the person they are today. Hannibal Lecter is the best example that first comes to mind for me as a bad guy with a lengthy backstory.  (thanks Thomas Harris)  Where did things go askew for the bad folks? Was it nature or nuture?  (be sure to read Harris’ great stories that describe the “growth” of Lecter, or watch the movies!)

Since we all have some bad in us, the evil characters open up a small window that allows us to experience the world through their eyes.  No doubt Dr. Lecter is an extreme case, so he may not serve as the best example (but I do wonder about some folks!).  The bad guy in my novel is Jamel Scott.  As I did with all of the characters, I like to construct characters that are NOT wholly good or bad.  We all have leanings in both directions.  For me, my bad guy is just a bit darker than the other folks. (well, he is black too, but I’m not talking about his skin color)   More than anything, I wanted Jamel to come through as a talented business manager.  As the manager of an illegal drug enterprise in Durham, NC, he has to run his company just as any other “business” manager does and deal with problems that are similar – Regulation, profit margins, employee discipline, sales goals, etc.   His success as a manager is ultimately the exact same as the success of other business leaders –  Effective problem solving.

Albeit, his problem solving techniques are quite different than most managers.  I hope it would be extremely rare that an employee at a major US corporation would have their toe cut off with a pizza cutter for violating company policy. (smile)  But in Jamel’s world, he uses this strategy to effectively send a message to his staff.  Now, I doubt we would see any self-help or management books espousing his management strategies, but in his world, he’s successful.

Bottom – Line? –  I say enjoy the bad guys. I certainly do. Revel in their “badness” and ponder their backstory.  Its fun.

  1. Scott Bury says:

    While I thoroughly enjoy Boris and Natasha and Hannibal, et al., what I liked most about Jamel Scott was his complexity. He had his good side, as did Travis. That’s what sets a book apart from a movie, and a good book apart from a poor one – the characters are believable. No one is wholly bad, no one is wholly good.

    I have to admit, though that the Big Bad Guy in my novel has no redeeming characteristics – none that show up in the story, anyway.

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