Sometimes there is no redemption. Sometimes, no matter the effort, intent, or heartfelt belief, a person is unable to stay the righteous path.
I learned this lesson while writing my novel, Where Darkness Dwells. The characters I created represent a broad spectrum of individuals. There are saintly people trying to live a good life in the wake of the Great Depression and the closing of the local coal mine. There are also people more suited to the scorching touch of hellfire and the echoing cries of the eternally damned. Some of these “bad guys” I tried to redeem through the course of the story, but since I consider my characters to be human on every level, a majority of these reformed “bad guys” inevitably revert to their individual mean. To be more precise–bad guys tend to do bad things. Your path is your path and rarely changes permanently. Sure, the bad guy can take a detour to the bright side of things, but since it is against his nature, it shouldn’t be seen as a permanent lifestyle change. There are exceptions, but there are always outliers when plotting any bell curve.
Realizing that I couldn’t redeem a specific minor character in Where Darkness Dwells was not only a moment of epiphany, but also brought about real life sadness for me. I wanted him to turn his life around, to not only do right for himself, but more importantly, for his family. But the story demanded an unsavory reversion for him, no matter how I dreaded writing his inevitable backslide into damnation.
Fiction is as in real life, but more so. Fiction is amplified reality.
Just a reminder, Where Darkness Dwells is only $.99 at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Darkness-Dwells-ebook/dp/B004QGYXCA/
Or any other ebook format at Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/45506
If you’ve read Where Darkness Dwells, I would love to hear if you know to which character I’m referring.