Evil Mary Sue and Then Not

Yesterday’s bit wasn’t meant to be about what I turned out.  I’d meant to capture the other in a character.   I meant to find something unrelated to me and push that.  I meant to find a character who was evil in a way I felt comfortable writing.  I didn’t hit that target.  Two hurdles rise to my mind: I don’t believe anyone is truly evil and I am rather fearful of writing a character that could be perceived as stemming from who I am but have not revealed to others.

I won’t worry the first one since I feel that making an enemy motivated by more than unspecified evil is a flat way to write.  The second concerns me most for an unlikely reason: if I write a character who murders and maims and rapes for the joy of each destruction and I worry I’m exposing some hidden darkness in my soul, then why don’t I worry I’m blithely writing my goodness into the heroes?

“Hello there,” said Mary Sue.

“Fuck you bitch,” replied Evil Mary Sue

Taking a moment out to read up on the popular concept of Mary Sues I learn potentially I’m worrying over much.  If the Internet is to be believed Mary Sues suffer from ideal characteristics than from telegraphed ones.

Were I to write that a character stabbed another then relished and delighted in the warmth of the arterial blood spouting up from the wound and onto her face I wouldn’t know from where that enjoyment stemmed.  Now I’m forced to trace that back to some root reason, something common and believable but unexpected twisted or tainted.  Maybe with yesterday’s Michael I could blend not only his enthusiasm for disorder with some Just World Theory.  Blame the victim.  According to the studies it looks like an audience could really relate to that—and yet still be appalled.

I quickly see how that might be applied to an assassin.  How might the same be applied to a typical high school bully?  A bully might be acting on the motivation that strength’s responsibility is to out weakness.  To test it and find it either wanting or measuring up.  Weakness itself is a tacit request for such a litmus.  He asked for it.  He had it coming.  He needed to know he was less than me.  And this was the only way to show him.

Makes everything prior to the ultimate showdown, each snipe, each taunt, a probing question to level set the aggressiveness of the definitive test.

Nice job veering off topic.  Again.