A hungry street kid puts a stale hot dog bun to his lips,
spots a starving puppy in the alley to his left,
and instead feeds the bun to the little dog.
Later at the park, he and his friends eat the puppy.
Hate the kid now?
Do you really have to like the main character, or can being interesting be enough?
For me as reader or writer,
I have to like the main character to want to spend hours or weeks with her or him in my mind.
Being decent doesn't have to be boring.
In fact, in this world, doing the right thing can get downright fiery:
Take one of my happy finds:
In Italian police inspector Aurelio Zen, Michael Dibdin has given the mystery field one of its most complex and compelling protagonists:
a man wearily trying to enforce the law in a society
where the law is constantly being bent by both the police and the government.
It has been my experience that the Good have always been outnumbered so they have to be smarter and more resourceful than the opposition.
The world is all too mean-spirited for me to want to invite unpleasant, though interesting, people into my mind.
I am drawn to humorous, fiesty, intelligent characters
who skate on thin ice in this world but whistle away their fears while doing it.
Are you drawn to cruel, selfish, dominating protagonists?
Have I become a dinosaur
in thinking there is still room in fiction for a protagonist
who, while imperfect,
tries to make her or his corner of the world
a better place in some small way?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?