A BRIEF THOUGHT: Unlovable Rogues

25,000 words in 19 days is pretty good going by my standards. While I wont go into detail about the work in progress until at least the first draft is finished, I’m going to talk a bit about what inspired it.

A simple question: why are rogues always loveable?

It’s a trope we see time and time again. Dark Matter, Killjoys, Firefly, Star Wars. They all have a loveable rogue at the centre of things. This has always struck me as odd. These people are criminals. Smugglers, thieves and often murderers. Yet we are asked to invest in them. There is no doubt these are interesting characters, but shy should we have to like them?

What I’m more interested in is the rogue who isn’t loveable. Think of Raymond Reddington or The Master. People who will kill and manipulate purely for their own benefit. Bad people, to put it simply. They are charming, they do it all with a smile, but no one is attempting to frame them as heroes.

This sort of character is the one I’m tackling in my new project. The out for themselves career criminal who will do whatever it takes to reach his goals. Its difficult going, making this individual a rounded character. He’s not a hero, but that doesn’t make him the villain. He’s just a person, doing bad things to get by.

25,000 words, and I think I’m getting the hang of things. The months ahead will show if this confidence is earned.