Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bad vs. Evil

Okay, I admit it, this IS the title of that new Eminem hybrid CD that I totally love.

But it also describes a lot of my writing process.

So let's break it down, shall we? There's the good, the bad, and the evil. Possibly the ugly. Whatever you want to call it. Now let's take the good. This is the happy people, the warm and fuzzies, the simple things in life, the sunny days and the fluffy puppies and the giddy pop songs.

Throw that out the window.

Well, keep the puppies.

Now we have what I like to write about. Because frankly, redeeming qualities are boring. Happy endings are lame. It is so much more interesting to look at our deepest flaws--whatever it is that makes us bad. And, of course, to search for the thing that makes those flaws, those bits of bad, okay, accepted, and maybe even recognize them as the best things about ourselves.

Maybe I have a pretty crazy view of love, but isn't that kind of the coolest idea? To find someone with equally miserable flaws, equally painful secrets, equal emotional damage? I think that's what love's all about--not finding that perfect person, but the person who is your perfect match. And to do that, you have to own up to the bad stuff. You kind of have to love the bad stuff.

But, of course, "bad" can't be "bad" all by itself.
Unless you're this lady.

But if we're not playing with "good" in the mix, the only counterpart for bad is, well, evil.

Now this distinction is minute, but that's what makes it fun. What separates the hero from the villian? What do they have in common? In short, what makes evil so much worse than bad?

Now, let it just be put out there, I think evil has its own allure. There's a passion and dedication in being totally evil. It's self-righteous and totally blinded and almost pure. I will put it out there; Guy of Gisbourne, in my retelling of Robin Hood, is a legitimate psychopath.

And I think he's AWESOME.

In a crazy sort of way, but yeah, he's awesome.

(Side note--this is why I shouldn't be allowed to date. I apparently think totally damaged and/or psychopathic men are oohh so dreamy...)

Maybe I like evil the way most people like horror flicks--for the catharsis, for that one moment when, against all odds, we triumph. Even if we are bad, irredeemable souls. Even if awful things have happened. Evil still gives us the chance to win.

So who wins out in the battle of Bad vs Evil?

I'll be honest, I hope I don't find out for a while. I kind of like it when they duke it out. ;-)


AC Gaughen is the author of Scarlet, a retelling of the Robin Hood legend that reimagines Will Scarlet as a butt-kicking girl. Check it out February 14th, 2012 from Bloomsbury|Walker. Or just come visit her website. Either way.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Yes, bad boys are definitely more fun to date, but I'm really glad I didn't marry one! What really boggles my mind, though, are the evil people who believe they're good.