This is a real conversation I’ve had with someone, and then again with somebody else who has spoken to the first person, who is apparently now worried about me.
So, does it worry me that I can write some deeply evil people?
No. Of course it doesn’t. Should it?
Yes, I write villains. Yes, sometimes those villains do horrible things, like plan the end of all of humanity, gut some sacrifices to summon the Dark One, or kill a puppy. No, those are not things included in my own five-year plan. Obviously not. Jeez.
And even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t know how to do most of the things my fictional characters are doing. How would I go about summoning Satan? I can’t say I know. I’ve never looked into it. Do tell if you’ve actually managed it!
The person I had this first conversation with is someone I was close to when I was growing up. When I watched something scary on TV, they told me that ‘it wasn’t real – those evil boogie men don’t exist’. So why is me writing so different? My evil characters came from me, true enough, but they are still just fiction – exactly like those boogie men on TV.
Fiction is fiction. It’s not real. The next time this conversation comes up and someone is worried about my mental well-being I’m planning on patting their back reassuringly, reminding them of this fact.
This concern came from someone who should know me better, and it got me thinking if it’s a common worry which just doesn’t get voiced very often. Then it got me wondering why this person would think like that at all, and then it got me thinking that maybe this is just part of my life now. People assuming that I am all of my characters. I write when I think a lot, and I thought you – as fellow writers and readers – might appreciate this odd bit of conversation I had. But, to make sure, let me clarify:
I’m a writer. I will write many different characters – some good, some evil. I’m none of them. They’re not part of me, waiting for their chance to take over. (But thank you for thinking I could enslave the whole world if I really put my mind to it – your belief in me means a lot!)
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