Today I found a phenomenal blog post about crafting the perfect ‘unlikable’ character in a story. Kristen Lamb published a blog post in her own inimitable way, to teach us how to create a character that makes our story interesting. Thank you, Kristen!
Bad people make better stories. Why? Because I cannot say this enough, ‘Fiction is about one thing and one thing only—PROBLEMS.’
Who better to create a lot of problems than damaged, broken, unlikable, foolish and possibly even unredeemable human beings?
***I use the term ‘human beings’ for all characters because aliens, otherworldly beings, and any ‘thinking’ creature will possess anthropomorphic (human-like) qualities.
So why do ‘bad people’ make better stories?
Perfect people, first of all, are unicorns and don’t exist. Secondly, they are boring. Thirdly, we can’t relate to them because we aren’t unicorns (just deluded we are ).
What’s the story killer with perfect people? To be blunt, these characters have nowhere to grow. Since ‘perfect people’ handle every crisis with a level head and can be trusted to always do the right thing, the reader won’t ever worry.
If the reader never worries, guess what kiddies? You don’t have a story, you have a lot of words.
Villains are a whole other post. So is the Big Boss Troublemaker (our core antagonist responsible for creating the overall story PROBLEM).