I started watching the 2014 Canada Reads program because a Canadian friend recommended it. And where I am in the recording they are talking about ugly characters, mean and brutal characters.
When you write a scene, a chapter or a novel about characters who violate others in one way or another, how do you approach them? Do you try to humanize them so the reader can understand their brokenness? Do you portray them as sinister, unacceptable fiends?
And how do you personally feel about those characters?
The panel in Canada Reads is talking about Margaret Atwoods’ The Year of the Flood, a post-apocalyptic story filled with ugly characters. I have stories kind of like this, and I get frustrated trying to make them both real and, if not humane, at least understandable.