I have been trying to spice up Tabeth some more by developing the characters in more depth and I came to realize that my main character, Tabeth herself, is also the main ‘evil’ in the book! What is your main character’s conflict? She is in conflict with her own evil nature. What is your main character’s flaw? Her vampire nature. Who is the protagonist? Tabeth Who is the antagonist? Tabeth!
So how do you make an evil, wicked, creepy character likable and work as a main character?
I found an interesting article on Writer’s Digest that has helped me figure this out and I would like to share.
“Create Your Own Bad Guys and Sleazy Protagonists” which is from a larger book Bullies, Bastards & Bitches by Jessica Page Morrel.
I intend to get this book as soon as I can, but for now, I have this great article. In the article Jessica says, “Sometimes unlikeable protagonists have redeeming qualities mixed in with their negative qualities, which makes them enormously complex.” This is what I decided I wanted to go for with Tabeth, because while she has this evil side and definitely has evil moments where she is being creatively cruel and liking it, she also has this more human side which doesn’t want to kill innocents and falls for this very human man, making her vulnerable in all sorts of ways!
So how to do that convincingly? Jessica goes on to say how sometimes unlikeable characters are understandable or redeemable, and how no matter what we make them become they must be compelling. If you make your evilly traited character redeemable, they must have at least one positive trait. In doing a character sketch I have already decided that Tabeth has a few positive traits; one she doesn’t want to be a killer and so tries to kill only ‘bad guys’, two she finds herself capable of love and wants very much to believe in the hope that represents to her. The third positive trait is a bit more elusive, and I haven’t really put my finger on it yet, it is her drive to learn, to discover, to become something more than just this hungry animal she finds herself being.
Is that enough to make her work as an evil protagonist who is also a main character? We shall see….