Question: Do you think like the hero or think like the villain?
Depends whose point of view I'm writing in. I write deep third person point of view and try to immerse myself totally into that character while I'm writing them. Every character is part of me and I'm part of every character--even the badguys.
That being said, I don't often write in the villain's point of view. I enjoy complex villains and want to make them psychologically as realistic as possible. Since I've actually met real life killers, including one serial killer, I know that this reality is often not what readers expect from their fictional badguy--they want their villains to be over the top, diabolical, with a reason for everything.
They're often impulsive and take action because it's convenient or just easier to turn left instead of right....they're often narcissistic sociopaths and don't need a lot of motivation to do anything if it gets them what they want.
Since going into that kind of villain's point of view probably wouldn't be compelling or entertaining for readers, I tend to instead allow the villains to slowly reveal themselves through their actions. The other characters experience the consequences of those actions and the reader can learn about the badguy at the same time the point of view characters do.
But....there's always a but, isn't there?....I've just started a project that features a badguy who feels very real to me. In his point of view, he's just trying hard to be a good son, to do right by his parents, and to protect his family.
To the rest of the world....well, let's just say that the "creep" factor is revving past the red zone on this one, lol!!!
Here's my question for you all: why do YOU read crime fiction?
Is it for the vicarious thrill of being inside a badguy's head as he dishes out delicious deviltry that you'll never (ever) get the chance to experience in real life?
Or is it for the catharsis of playing the hero, the comfort of knowing that some times the good guys do win and justice is served?
Thanks for reading!
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. Her debut, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), became a National Bestseller and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller."
The second in the series, WARNING SIGNS, was released January, 2009 and the third, URGENT CARE, is due out October, 2009. Contact her at http://www.cjlyons.net