The Balancing Act between Hate and Love
© M.C.V. Egan
To keep readers interested, as writers, we always need to move a story forward. We need conflict, twists, and turns and the unlikely but not impossible to surprise our readers. I am very fortunate to live in South Florida, where it is said we boast more writers/authors per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.A. Big names are very generous with their techniques and knowledge, and I have had the privilege and pleasure to attend numerous workshops on a wide variety of subjects.
To me, the biggest hurdle is remembering that balance between love and hate. The characters I grow fond of, I love, well, it is hard to hurt them. If I give them an easy-breezy life, I will bore my readers to death; well not death, but to slam my book shut! And my villains, those icky guys that we hope in real life we never encounter, well we cannot hate the, not wholly, we have to give them qualities that make them well rounded and remember that even the most horrid villains had a mother who loved them.
So, when I am in a mischievous mood, I write a list of terrible things that could happen to a character I love. It was hard to hurt one of my main characters in Defined by Others, I mean, they had suffered enough in life. But I wrote my list… and even considered killing her, but I simply could not say goodbye.
The same with villains, in Death of a Sculptor, my killer is logical, although most cannot guess who did it. I wanted to give it a more evil nuance but remembered that balance, your villain needs qualities to keep the reader invested.
In The Bridge of Deaths, as it is far more fact than fiction, I stated with five very real corpses. One of whom was my maternal grandfather, a man I never knew but always missed; I added love to the story, the passionate love between Bill and Maggie, as well as the love and curiosity of uncovering the past and uncovering truths.
That was a love I understand well; every time I had the time and money, I traveled to locations where I could research dusty old archives. I am also very blessed to have a good marriage and know love, so Bill and Maggie were a smooth flow.
Happy reading, and thank you for welcoming me to your blog.