Beauology 101: Good Things Happen To Bad People

Beau Smith-Your Hero!

Beau Smith-Your Hero!

by Beau Smith

I’ve heard it said by many a creator, actor, writer, that the bad guy always gets the best lines and are easier to write/act, or at least are more fun.

Well, that is true, and there’s a reason. As a writer, I also find the bad guy to be easier to write as well. The reason being, there are no rules. You can tap into your inner socio-or-psychopath, and just let it rip. You can drop the list of manners and just grab that last biscuit on the table and not care if everyone else got one or not. Granted, there is some skill involved in writing a bad guy, because you also have to, or should, find some spark of humanity or likability in them to make them realistic. I’m not saying that every psychopath has a conscience, but they should at least be able to fake it so they can then fool everyone they plan to torment and defeat.

The Red Skull - I'm evil and I don't care if you know it.

The Red Skull – I’m evil and I don’t care if you know it.

I grew up reading comics in the 1960s and ‘70s where a majority of the bad guys were flat out crazy and didn’t care if you knew they were evil or not. That started to change a bit in the 1980s, but even today, writers tend to fall back on just letting the bad guy go full tilt evil.

My real point is this; the good guy is never seen as easy to write or be because it IS hard being good, especially in fiction where you can make up your own beginning, middle, and end. As a writer, you can get greedy or lazy when writing a good guy. You can have them be a Boy Scout. You can make them the standard tragic hero, the reluctant hero, or the anti-hero which has been very popular since the 1980s. The reason the anti-hero has become so popular is because, like a full out bad guy, it’s easier to write. You lose rules. You cut back on morals.

Batman: The Fuel For His Fire.

Batman: The Fuel For His Fire.

A hero should be someone you aspire to be more like; someone you want to emulate. I think it’s harder for some writers to really nail a good guy because they don’t have the willingness to really make the character have solid morals and follow through with them in the way they do fight evil. I don’t mean Batman doesn’t use guns or Superman refuses to kill; I’m talking about full moral reasoning based on faith, what is truly right as a human being, and knowing what evil is and wanting to stop it. Some writers look at it as going to school just to be social and not doing any homework or studying.

Spider-Man: Fuel For His Fire.

Spider-Man: Fuel For His Fire.

Trust me, it IS hard writing a good guy. I’ve struggled with it from time to time. It IS hard to develop a good guy within the structured 18 or so pages of a comic book. You have to truly choose the hero’s words carefully and let his actions show his morals, his beliefs, and his caring for what is truly right. A hero doesn’t have to be driven by the death of his parents, his uncle, or the fact that his home planet was blown to bits. There can be heroes that do what’s right simply because it’s the right thing to do. A writer should never be ashamed to have a good guy do this. I like to think there are many more good guys in the world than bad guys. Not every one of them has to be a world saving hero, but they are still good as they do your taxes, serve you a burger, or teach your kids in school. Good versus evil isn’t about the conflict or event-like situation, it’s about morals and the right thing, the core. If you construct the core, then any situation, minor or major, that you inject the character in, the readers will return month after month to read. You can add the flaws, the problems that we all share in every day life, to make the reader relate, but you first must have the moral core.

"It's Good To Be Good!" "It's Better To Be Bad!"

“It’s Good To Be Good!” “It’s Better To Be Bad!”

Doctor Doom is easy to write; Reed Richards is not. Doctor Doom wants you to do as he says, no matter who gets hurt. Reed Richards wants to save those people from being hurt and at the same time risk his own life so that his wife, his kids, his world, will remain safe from those like Doctor Doom that look at collateral damage simply as the way it goes.

The anti-hero is a shortcut; a real hero is the long haul. Band-Aid or fully healed.

Which path do you want to take?

Your hero,

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch



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