I pondered the question, “Why darkness?” after answering a question about worldbuilding (what attracts me to worldbuilding). In that question, I replied with ‘The opportunity to create something from nothing. Putting my own spin on how things should be. It’s the ultimate joy, I suppose, for a control freak—a world of their own creation.’
Well, the same thought goes into the question about darkness. There’s something compelling about the dark side of fiction, especially if you’re someone who normally hangs out in the proverbial light. Bad boys and girls, villains with no redeeming qualities, and overwhelming circumstances excite my imagination.
I came close to being a psychology major in college years ago. My mother earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while I was a kid. I read her abnormal psychology texts with fascination. Some of my favorite shows on television are psychological thrillers. I want to know what makes people tick.
Sure I could write about what makes the good guy tick, but his motivations tend to be obvious. It’s the ‘what makes a dark villain’ tick that’s more interesting. Imagine Jack the Ripper for a moment. If he had been Jack the Lover, it would have been an interesting story about a guy having sex with every woman he met in London. An okay story. Okay, let’s be honest, somewhat of a snooze. But when you throw in that he was killing women in cruel ways the plot began to thicken.
Hey, I could go on and on about some of the most nefarious characters in books and film that people have enjoyed. Bottom line? The darkness can be more interesting than the light.