My main character, Ghost, is not nice. She’s a murderer and a thief, and she’s very sarcastic, cold and ocasionally a little too pragmatic – one of my most recent lines for her is “not everyone has murder for a hobby”…she does have some redeeming qualities, the primary one of which is that she sees herself as a necessary murderer. When someone’s going mad and throwing spells around, killing them is the quickest way to solve a problem – and if everyone else is too squeamish, then maybe it’s useful to have a murderer on hand?
She’s definitely an interesting character, and she’s been a lot of fun to write. About half of the book involves her interacting with an ex-boyfriend, who is as snarky as she is. You may not have realised unless you know me well, but I have a very dark and sarcastic streak of humour that only comes out occasionally (and tends to leave the boys in fits of laughter when it does – they’re as bad as I am!) So the interactions between Ghost and Luk have been almost cathartic; I get to say things I wouldn’t normally, give the snappy answers and hurting words a voice, and in some ways say the things I want to say. It’s a fun relationship as well as an odd one – I like writing the exes, as it’s not a normal relationship to read about. But then not a lot of this book is turning out normal!
I’ve also got some darker emotions coming up, as it’s going to be a painful ending to write. I’m on the last third of the story, and one major character has just died; a second is about to happen. Ghost has strong ties to both, and I know that if I want to write this properly, it’s got to have my heart in it. All fiction writing involves imagining a scenario and then imagining what your characters would do, but some situations hurt more than others – and this is definitely a doozy.
Although that’s sort of the point of grimdark writing. It’s not so much “get your character up a tree and throw rocks at them” as “get the author and audience up there too…”