Here’s the dilemma…how “dark” you should go with your evil characters. I realized that my “bad” character is certainly dark and wicked…But is she EVIL enough? One thing I’ve learned over the last two years of crafting and completing a first draft (Cave of Whispers, due out late 2019), is that (mostly) there are no rules. George R. R. Martin has shown us that you can go as deep and dark as you want, write very long novels that are insanely complicated, throw children out of windows and still be wildly successful.
I’ve realized that, while I have a good story, with interesting characters, I still need to search deeper when defining how dark the evil goes. There will be no “blood weddings” in my novel, but certainly there will be blood…and death. After all, a dark force that wants to take over the world and control dragon magic by crushing the opposition has to do some pretty evil things to make that happen.
As someone who cringes when a bug splats on my windshield, it will be challenge to go to an evil/dark place to source those characters. Writing about my hero rising up to fight agains the minions of evil? I got that down, easily. Cutting out someone’s heart for nefarious ends, not so much.