Sayonara Osama! Bin Laden bites the dust. A writer’s view on the bad guys…

Well, as much as I am a lover, not a fighter and I don’t condone the taking of a life in any circumstances, I have to say, there will be no tears shed from these baby blues for Osama Bin Laden.

The guy was a monster and no-one will ever forget the devastation that was 9-11. So yeah, bye, bye Bin Laden, may your sleep with the fishes be fitfull.

But what about the bad guys? As a writer, you have to love ’em. Every book has a protagonist and a bad guy (the technical term I believe is antagonist), without them, there is no story.

I mean, what’s the point of a book if your protag doesn’t have any obstacles in their way, right?

Which leads me nicely into my intro; guys, meet Mr. Nathan Hunter, The Huntsman.

“Boo. Hisssssssss.”

Obviously, that isn’t him.

He would never advertise the fact that he was evil, he doesn’t have to, you kinda know from the deadness of his eyes. The Huntsman in book one of the Rose Red crime series, Snow White, is a right piece of work. He thinks nothing of spraying basement walls with the grey matter that keeps you upright (other than it might mess up his Armani suit) and he certainly doesn’t fret over how many fingers you leave behind after his little ‘chats’ if you owe his boss (Queenie – now there’s another story for another day) money…he really isn’t someone you would introduce to your dad; but do you know what? I love him!

Sure, it’s great when your protag gets the girl and catches the bad guy (there’s more to that statement than I care to elaborate at this point) but the real fun in breathing life into these characters for you, isn’t with the ‘Little house on the prairie’ endings, it’s with the messy stuff.

There’s been so many great bad guys. I did a blog a zillion years ago on Robert de Niro’s character from Cape Fear once (you can read it in the archives) but there are just sooo many other great bad guys who you love to hate:

Hannibal Lecter, The Joker, the weird guy with the bug eyes from Con Air, the list is endless, but there is one who stands out a million miles above the rest:

Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining‘ is probably the supreme bad guy. What a book and what a film, perfect. Couldn’t have picked anyone else for the part.

And I’ll just throw in a little shout out for the girls. Best ever scary Mary character, Kathy Bates in ‘Misery’. “What an oogie mess.”

When you’re writing a book, it’s kinda like a film running in your head anyway. You can see the pictures, hear their voices and almost envisage the credits rolling at the end. You even know what songs you want for the musical score. Writing a book is deconstruction of a movie.

And with all great movies (or books) comes a happy ending. Sure. And as a writer, you like tying up the loose ends and hoping that the reader breathes a huge sigh of relief when the witch is dead, BUT, you also kinda have fun thinking that somehow, they might just come back! 😉


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