Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fiction: Characters

As you learn who your characters are, compassion for them will grow. There shouldn’t be just a single important character in your work for whom you have compassion. You need to feel it even for the villain—in fact, especially for the villain. Life is not like formula fiction. The villain has a heart, and the hero has great flaws. You’ve go to pay attention to what each character says, so you can get to know each of their hearts.

--Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, p. 69

Tricia’s Thoughts:

When I dreamed of writing fiction years ago, I never imagined that the protagonist for my first published novel, From Dust and Ashes, would be a Nazi wife. Through Helene, I explored how a person can overcome deep regret by the love of others and Christ.

Also, via my villains, I hope to give readers an inside look on how our actions can move us toward darkness, one step at a time—never to show acceptance for evil, but rather to help us understand the severity of small compromises which build upon each other.


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

King David's life is the perfect example of the protagonist who acts the villain. If we, when creating our characters, can remember Romans 3:10, we will have no protagonists as pure as the driven show.

1:01 PM  

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