Karen Miller on Why Bad is so much Better when it comes to fiction

The lovely and talented Karen Miller (her latest tome is to the left) has blogged for Orbit on Why Bad is so much Better when it comes to fiction.

So, two of my all-time favourite fictional characters aren’t actually in books, but on screen. And they were both created by Joss Whedon. I’m talking Spike, aka William the Bloody (Awful Poet), and Wesley Wyndham-Price.

On the surface you might not think they have anything in common. Spike burst into Sunnydale as an unrepentant villain, while Wesley minced his way in as the replacement Watcher for Giles, emphatically a white hat. But as the series, and their characters, evolved, as they transitioned from the world of Buffy to the world of Angel, both characters became more and more nuanced, less and less one-note. More complicated. More ambiguous. And as the lines blurred, so did their allure increase. Spike started doing good, but not always for the right reasons.  Or for pure, unselfish reasons. And Wesley shed his goody two-shoes persona to reveal a man far darker and more damaged than any of us had ever suspected.

But what they also had in common was, at the heart, enough self-knowledge to know they wanted better, they could do better, they needed better. And that struggle became integral to their journey through Whedon’s fictional worlds.

The rest of the wisdom is here.

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