Why are bad guys so interesting in novels?

Ever wonder why so often the evil characters in literature are more interesting than the good ones? Here is an explanation from novelist P. D. James, taken from an interview with Ken Myers.

I suppose that wickedness reveals itself often in action. Goodness also does, but is on a quieter plane. Good people very often reveal their goodness through the whole of the quiet revelation of their character in the ordinary events of life. I mean, if a good person is being courageous, he’s probably being courageous in facing rather ordinary troubles. If you like: sick children, a sick wife, and uncongenial job. … Goodness is very seldom dramatic, I think. And it is much more easy to write about drama.

Ken Myers included the above excerpt in the fifth episode of the Audition podcast from Mars Hill Audio.

One thought on “Why are bad guys so interesting in novels?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *