I’m deep in edits for A Scarlet Fury. I’m working on minor details of a scene between a certain fan favorite *wink wink* and Tsura, the vampire princess. My mother was very upset with the scene and she wasn’t afraid to tell me about.
Mom: How could you let them act like that? It was so…wrong. I was ashamed of their behavior.
Me: Yup. Me too.
She looked at me like I was nuts. I agreed with her because she’s right, the two characters in the scene act horrible to each other. It’s out of their nature and it’s sad to read.
Why did I write it? Because people are tragically flawed. We hurt the ones we love, we say mean things, we lie/cheat/steal. The seven deadly sins are an intimate part of human nature. The bad guys can’t be easy to spot by their twisty mustaches and maniacal laugh. The heroes aren’t paragons of purity and light. As the World in Shadows series progresses the characters will grow and change. Like everyone, they will mature past some behaviors and embrace new ones.
Take Bastien from book 1. He’s a carefree bachelor before he meets Rachel. He takes on a great deal of responsibility in their book and will continue to until the end. He makes decisions that will change his whole community and they won’t always be good ones. Back to the scene my Mom hated. Emotions are running high and people are in danger. Your head isn’t in the best place. Do you expect yourself not to say something in the heat of the moment you won’t regret. Carry this thought further; do you have to say or do things that are unpopular but necessary?
I worry readers will be upset when their favorite characters aren’t acting like themselves, but I feel it’s necessary to the story. Who wants to read about perfect, goody two shoes? They aren’t interesting and wouldn’t last two seconds in the world I’ve created. Sometimes, even the good guys have to act bad to make it out alive.