My evil twin Luella is everything I’m not (usually) – predominantly cranky, mean-spirited, unwilling to take crap from anyone, and, when provoked, has a very creative bent with unsociable words. Upon occasion, I do let her out to play, it feels good to stretch in a different direction.
What’s a little mayhem? Its not like she can destroy the world – or can she?
In television, daytime and nighttime dramas have made use of this storytelling device. Often the tell is obvious – for men a goatee (though I’ve never understood that one, because I like a well-groomed goatee) and for women bad hair and heavy make-up. YAWN!
We have the same problem in writing. The tells are pretty obvious when an evil twin is on the loose – loathing, rebellion, murderous mayhem, etc. Seriously people?
When I create a character in any of my writing projects, I always have a little of the evil or good twin lurking under the surface. A well-written character will never be 100% ‘good’ or ‘evil’. A little bit of sympathy for an antagonist will go a long way in making the character believable. Having a flawed protagonist won’t give the reader insulin shock.
Sometimes the character’s contrary characteristics will save the story you’re telling.
- JRW Twitter Chat with Cherise Fisher of on February 6th at 12:30pm. Follow @jamesrvrwriters, @scribeswindow and search for #jrwc13 to chat about her extensive experiences in editing for several of the large publishing houses in NYC.
- JRW Twitter Chat with Lena Roy, author of the YA novel EDGES, on February 26th at 12:00pm. Follow @jamesrvrwriters, @lenaroy and search for #jrwc13 to talk about her experiences in writing and publishing.