Episode 27: Despicable Characters

On January 26, 2019, Kasie and Rex welcomed fellow SCWA Columbia II chapter member, JR deLorenzo into the studio. Here are the show notes:


Dr. Kasie Whitener, GenX Fiction Writer, Process Consultant

Rex Hurst, Fiction / Horror writer

JR deLorenzo, Fiction writer

Theme for the day:

Despicable Characters

Agenda review:

  • Visit with fiction writer and attorney JR deLorenzo
  • Writing despicable characters
black and white hands mask bussinesman
Photo by Vijay Putra on Pexels.com

Segment 1

JR is a member of our Columbia II SCWA Workshop. Tell us how you got into writing fiction and why. What’s been the hardest part? What do you want to do with this hobby/pursuit?

Segment 2

Last week we talked about characters in general. This week I want to focus on the odious ones. The ones we write because there’s a dark place inside us that needs exploring. The ones who serve as villains and foils. Who create tension in a novel.

JR is a good guest because lately we all hate his protagonist. Tell us about this guy, why the workshop hates him, and what you’re trying to do there.

Rex has written a novel from a serial killer’s point of view. Would you argue the character is despicable? Why or why not? Tell us where he came from and how you manage to keep readers interested in someone they dislike.

Other odious characters in literature (here’s a list of 17 which are mostly female UGH; and a list of 10 which is also mostly female UGH):

  • Iago
  • Daisy Buchanan
  • Edna Pontellier from The Awakening
  • Patrick Bateman from American Psycho (Bret Easton Ellis)
  • Briony Tallis from Atonement
  • Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights
  • Lydia and Kitty from Pride and Prejudice; or Mr. Collins from the same book?
  • (Huffington Post weighs in)
  • Humbert Humbert from Lolita
  • Hannibal Lecter
  • Lady MacBeth

We talked about the Shakespearean ones last week. What are some others? What purpose do they serve?

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