Picking the Bad Guy

by Carole Brown

Most stories have a bad guy, or at least the loser for the maiden heart, etc. etc. Since I write burglar-thief-freemystery and/or suspense, I ALWAYS have a bad guy and sometimes more than one. Many times I’ll start out with one in mind…and lo, and behold, someone else insists that, “I’m your man!” Wow. A surprise for the author.

Let me give you a couple examples from my own works.

In one of my books, I had a young man–a twin, no less–planned as the culprit. But the farther I advanced into the mystery, someone else stood out in bold outline as the person behind all the evil deeds. Yes, the first one, the young man, was a bully and easily swayed by the wrong companions, but it was soon evident, that the real mischief maker was the guilty party.

In the second book I want to use as an example, there was a planned harasser, a bully and a person who believed a lie. He was a very bad trouble maker, the perfect patsy of an antagonist for this book. But, again, I got a surprise when a quieter person, one most would never suspect ended up being the “bad guy” of this story for a different, one might even call it, more sinister reason.

What do you do when your characters change from one thing to another? Well, you go with the flow after reasoning, digging into the message and plot of your book, and deciding that it does make sense to listen to the characters, but most of all, to your heart that validates the changes will truly make your book more interesting.

What do you do when your characters tell you that that certain changes will strengthen your writing? Do you listen?

Check out my two cozy series to see if you can spot the changes I’m talking about here.

The Denton and Alex Davies series:book-cover-centered-small

  • Hog Insane


  • Bat Crazy





The Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series:sabataged-christmas1-front-cover3

  • Sabotaged Christmas
  • Knight in Shining Apronfront-cover1-w-apple-blossom
  • Undiscovered Treasures


Happy Reading!

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About Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

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