Are Some Characters Redeemable? Crossroads Series, Frank McGuire
Frank McGuire is one of the main characters/hero from my best-selling CROSSROADS series, and let's face it, Frank is no cookie-cutter hero. He's unrepentant, crass, selfish, ruthless, and impatient.
Did I know about the risks associated with writing such an unlikeable man? YES, but I didn't see him in any other light. I believe writers should be true to their characters--good or bad. Many readers have asked why I made Frank so unlikeable.
Well, here's one reason: ALL people come with flaws and warts. Yes, that includes you and me. If we were all perfect, wouldn't it be a dull world?
Here's another reason: I wanted to prove that some characters are 'redeemable'. Many readers dislike Frank in CROSSROADS, Book 1, but they seem to understand him. By the end of the series, most readers like or love Frank.
That's called REDEMPTION.
Frank breaks societal rules and even commits forced seduction because ... he has weaknesses and he just can't help himself. Pretty awful, huh? And yet, millions of people such as Frank exist in our world. Some are not fixable or redeemable, but many are. They learn, grow and adapt to acceptable behavior because it's in their best interest to do so. Many times, it takes another person in their life to guide and love them on their journey to redemption (Think Rand Brennan, the second hero in my CROSSROADS Series).
It's clear from the beginning of the series Frank is caught up in his lust for Rand. He's not even thinking about love because he doesn't believe love can be a part of his life (it hasn't been so far). And yet, during this period of self-serving lust, Frank shows kindness to children, empathy to those around him. Ah-ha! The reader starts to believe there might be hope for Frank.
In the second book, CROSSROADS REVISITED, Frank realizes his emotions are wrapped up in Rand (it's more than just lust). He starts thinking about his future, about living without Rand and the thoughts make him nauseous. Additionally, his palms sweat and his heart wrenches when he discovers Rand is in danger. He wonders if he's fallen in love...an entirely foreign concept for him.
In CROSSROADS SHOWDOWN, Rand gives Frank an ultimatum. He's weary of Frank's cavalier attitude about their relationship, tired of Frank moving him in and out of his life like a piece of furniture. And Rand is strong enough to tell Frank exactly that. Again in this book, we see Frank's tender feelings for Ghost-girl, the dead child who helps him find missing children.
In CROSSROADS SHADOWLAND, Book 4, Frank caves mentally and emotionally regarding his love for Rand. He'll do anything to save his lover from evil, outside forces. He finally understands the meaning of love, realizes life without Rand looms dismal and bleak.
I think Rand is the perfect match for Frank and I wrote him as a man who doesn't take Frank's crap even though he's madly in love with the hardened private investigator. Rand has grown throughout the series too--from a young college student to a man who tells Frank, "It's all or nothing with me. Make your choice." It's Rand who brings out the good traits in Frank. And Frank finally realizes if he doesn't change, he'll lose Rand. That thought terrifies him more than anything.
There are many redeemable characters in fiction. Think Darth Vader and Mr. Darcy. We didn't like them in the beginning, but liked them, or at least understood their motives, toward the end.
I loved watching Frank come to the realization he isn't an island. No man/woman is.
Leave a comment, tell me about some characters you really disliked in the beginning, but changed your mind about in the end. Maybe you didn't fall in love with them, but at least you came to understand them. Maybe you even cheered for them.
Thanks so much for visiting today. If you read the CROSSROADS Anthology (which, by the way, is rocking the charts on Kindle) please leave a review. I'd love to hear your thoughts on both Frank and Rand.
CROSSROADS ANTHOLOGY - Save $8.00 when you purchase the anthology. Buy here on Kindle: Crossroads Anthology (( Gay Suspense )) - Kindle edition by Keta Diablo. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.