Lame Dirty Dancing references aside…
In literature, the protagonist endures many hardships and heartbreaks. As readers, we root for them, hoping that everything works out well. These hardships come in various forms — a villain, a bad boss, a war or battle of some kind, an unrequited romance. There are many possibilities. Infinite ones.
My favorite protagonists are those whose biggest hardship — their worst enemy — is themselves. How do you escape from conflict when it’s constantly there, staring back at you in the mirror?
Just kidding. I don’t avoid mirrors. I’m a hottie, after all.
I’m kidding again. Gosh!
Anyway, that is one of the central themes in my YA, Ever Yours. The other themes are jealousy and unreliable imagination (yes, I meant to say “imagination”). I won’t go into details, but my heroine’s way of dealing with her problems is to… I’ll leave it at that.
My WIP centers on toxic friendships and sibling rivalry, and my third book deals with an unfinished business. All of these books have heroines with one thing in common: they are their own personal villain, and only they can destroy it (or embrace their inner bad guy, whatever the case may be).
So how do you create a character like this, and how do you keep them from crossing the line between flawed but relatable and complex but evil? It depends on the message you hope to send out. My girl in Ever Yours is the former, the one in the WIP is the latter. Not sure what the third one will be yet.
If you have a compelling coming-of-age story stirring within you, why not spice it up with an anti-hero? What are your views on them? Send me your opinions via email in the Contact Form.
In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite Crazy Ex-Girlfriend videos, the one where Rebecca wonders if she’s the bad guy in the story. Let me tell you, that “I’m the bitch in the corner of the poster” part hits a little too close to home. (Cliché, I know.)
Café Girl out. ☕