It’s strange, but I’ve found that the times I’m disturbed, worried over world events, upset with a family member, recovering from road rage, or just stressed in any manner, the best thing I can do is sit down, dig into my antag’s head, and create a truly frightening character. I redirect my angst in his or her direction.
What does that say about me?
Well, I remember more than once hearing a detective or police officer say everyone, under the right circumstances, is capable of murder. And I agree…I think. I do know that each of us harbors thoughts and feelings that we would never bring to the light of day without folks worrying about us. However, writers are given a pass…sometimes. We are known as a strange and peculiar people. Hmmm…God calls believers the same thing. At lease we’re in good company. But I don’t think He had in mind the precise way that writers are strange and peculiar.
When we dig into the antag’s mind, we are walking on shaky ground. We enter an arena that most people do their best to avoid. We don’t have that luxury. Not in today’s writing.
Readers want deep POV. There’s only one way to venture into a criminal’s mind and that is through a very dark door. One reason not a lot of folks want to write suspense/thrillers. But there are those oddballs, I’m one, who love to dig beyond what society accepts as normal and find out what makes a character become the antagonist. What makes a cute, chubby baby grow up to become a criminal? Why does that adorable blond, blue-eyed toddler with the long lashes become a Ted Bundy or sniper on a tower? What causes the queen of the prom to trade her stiletto heels for a stiletto?
Thriller/suspense authors are offered the rare opportunity of digging into the minds of abnormal psychology in order to create characters that we love to hate. Believe it or not, it can be very rewarding to develop a personality for your character that not only frightens, but helps us to understand the human condition.
So when in doubt, just plunk your bottom in the chair, research, write and rewrite, until you have a truly appalling character that will take your reader to the edge of the abyss and back.