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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wagner

The Fun Of The Dark Side

The main character in the novel I just finished has a powerful dark side to her. I’m empathetic when I write about Pearl’s childhood memories and the abuse she suffered. I understand why she does the evil things she does. Of course, her own misdeeds are shocking.

Writing scenes between my dark character, Pearl, and anyone kinder and gentler is sometimes challenging. “Normal” people have to interact and work with her. Those interactions are complicated because other characters know Pearl’s past. But most of my writing effort goes into making Pearl as authentic as possible to her character. Despite her faults, and there are many, I like Pearl.

This character is on a redemptive journey all her own. Pearl plows ahead, assuming she can do whatever she needs to, trusting in a God she barely understands. And trusting may be too strong a word. She feels coerced into a relationship and a new path to make her a better human being. She doesn’t like it.

So, while writing this character has its difficulties, it also has its pleasure. Pearl says things I would never say. She tells people off when she thinks they need it and critiques everything around her without any filter. Pearl’s fun to write. Is she fun to read? The jury is still out, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.

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