Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ambiguous Characters

On Sunday nights, I have a tradition of watching Once Upon a Time. If you've never seen the show, basically the evil queen curses every fairy tale character to a little town in our world. It's a fantastic show on its second season.

But, anyway, my favorite character by far is Rumplestitskin. He only ever acts to his own ends and you can never tell which side he's really on. His agenda with a lot of things is unclear.

That's why I love him. I love the ambiguity of his character. I love his back story and everything that led to him becoming the way he is (no spoilers, I promise).

My favorite characters are often the ones where you can never tell which side they're on. They might do the right things for the wrong reasons or the wrong things for the right reasons. 

We love ambiguous characters because no one is always good or always bad. As Sirius said, "The world isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters. We've all got light and dark inside of us."

If you have characters that are ambiguous or characters that are evil, give them back stories. These are often the most rounded characters in the story. Don't make a character do horrible things because they're "evil." Make them do horrible things for a reason.