My favorite character from my current WIP is a morally gray one, and this is something I find fascinating since I usually have a soft spot for my main character. I realized that perhaps the main reason why I’m drawn to this character so much is because I feel a sort of relatedness to him that I can’t feel with my villain or even my protagonist. His intentions are good, but the way he goes about executing his plans only reveal that he’s not as good as he claims to be. But anyway, none of us are 100% good (even if we wanted to be), and I’d like to think none of us are 100% evil. So why should the characters we create be placed in the “good” or “evil” category? Simply put, it’s unrealistic.
I’m a believer that morality has to be in the center of our decisions and actions, and portraying that through our fictional characters should be no different. There needs to be a reason for them to choose right versus wrong (or vice versa), and morally gray characters show us the struggle that as living human beings we are sometimes afraid to show the world: that even though we say we are good, our actions might prove otherwise. Call it greed, jealousy, or any other deadly sin you want to name, but the truth is that gray morality is part of our story and so, it should also be part of our characters’.
Just some food for thought here…
Who are some of your favorite morally gray characters?