Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another Kind of Beast

I must confess, I’m a little drawn to the dark side. OK—I’m drawn like a magnet. I just got through reading a book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, and I have to admit I drink this stuff up like a lush at a jubilee. What is wrong with me? I must not be the only one in the world, right? And I’m not really a serial killer, I just like to read about them. Right?

Whatever it is—apparently, I passed on the genetic mutation to my son. This boy, who has the name of an archangel, loves Darth Vader. When he was old enough to talk he told me he wanted to grow up to be Darth Vader one day.

Uh oh. Better nip this, I thought.

“Are you sure you don’t want to be Luke Skywalker?” I asked. “Luke Skywalker is cool.”

“But Darth Vader is cooler,” he told me, this child whose favorite color is black because it’s “so dark”.

Yikes. Nevertheless, I agree. Vader is, in his own way, cooler. I mean, what is more interesting than someone who was such a chosen being (as Anakin was supposed to be) yet who falls—so very, very far.

I do get excited about the dark parts of story. I’m currently outlining for a new story and I find that I’m not content to write solely from the point of view of my protagonist. I need to get into the head of the villain… I need to. I just want to put in little snippets here and there throughout the text, like scintillating flashes of starry light. Fun, fun, fun.

What about you all, normal people out there? Do you enjoy playing the part of the villain in your stories? Do you enjoy reading about them?


  1. The villain is more interesting to me because I'm a "nice" person. I usually see a bit of myself in the villain, not always, but often.
    I do enjoy reading about them! The villain is the spice.

  2. Love the villain. They are so interesting. They show what people hide deep inside them, things they never want the world to know are there. Bad guys are so opposite of what people are constantly trying to be, everyone wants to be good (hopefully) but the darkness creeps in wanting to take over.
    Maybe in seeing the bad guy, we can give over to the darkness without ever giving in ourselves.
    Maybe I am a little off liking the bad guy, but if this is wrong I don't want to be right :)

  3. I enjoyed the above comments and feel likewise.
    Still, I have to admit, too much darkness and I get nervous. I guess that I'm a darkness-lite kind of girl. Great post, Karyn!

  4. Hehe...I do love the dark side too. I find when I write, I give all my characters a dark side. Some more than others. I think it keeps characters real and believable. No one's perfect and no one's 100% good all the time. I like giving my villains the benefit of the doubt. Sure they're bad, but there's something about them that makes you wonder why and if they are really as bad as they seem.

    Great post! And for the record, I grew up loving Darth Vader too. My mom was a bit worried when I wanted to paint my room black and put a Death Star on one wall. Needless to say, that was answered with a resounding "NO!"

  5. Wow and you seem to have turned out pretty normal... as far as I know. That is a really good idea, I think, to give good and bad to all characters, whether they are the heros or villains. I think real life is like that.