Saturday, July 13, 2013

Being the Bad Guy

"You are never the villain of your own story."

This seems to be incredibly true of my life today. The Bad Guy doesn't realize that he's the bad guy. And when he refuses to acknowledge this, it makes it incredibly hard to get any sort of resolution. It's their word against yours. It's open for interpretation. There are two sides to every story.

But what if the story just plain sucks?

In stories, it's easy to pinpoint the antagonist. There's the hero and the villain. And you know who to support. How dare that person do this to your beloved main character? They're obviously evil. But every once in a while, you get a villain that's hard to hate. They have some redeeming qualities. You can understand how they got to this point in their life. But they're still the bad guy. They're still doing horrible things to good people. So, while you're understanding of their situation, you, as a reader, don't like them very much.

Unfortunately, there isn't a delete button in real life. You can't say something terrible and take it back. You can't rewrite a memory. It isn't black and white, because emotions cloud the situation. There are any number of influencing factors. Friends and family have their own opinions. You don't want to disappoint the people who believe in you. But you also don't want to burn your bridges.

I figured out who the Bad Guy is today. But even though I have this knowledge, I'm not sure what the outcome will be. I don't have the luxury of an outline of my life. Sometimes, I really wish I did. It might make it easier to avoid these situations.

Hating people is so much easier in fiction.


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