A reader’s perspective on untold lesfic stories
A few years ago, Kim and I had tickets to the musical Wicked. We were pretty excited about going to see this show that everyone was talking about. Well as is life, things happen and we weren’t able to go. Instead we gave our tickets to a young couple who expressed their deepest thanks and encouraged us to attend a performance at some point in the future. That future finally happened this past weekend. And I have to admit it was AMAZING! It made me think though. I mean this was the untold story of the witches of Oz. What other untold stories are out there? What other character’s badness could be explained?
And of course when I’m thinking and wondering, that usually leads me to the most amazing genre- lesfic! There are some bad characters who didn’t get a fair shake but I know there are more. If you’ve seen the musical you will surely understand what I’m talking about but if you haven’t, I think one excellent lesfic example is the character of Jack portrayed in Kim Baldwin and Xenia Alexiou’s Elite Operative series. Jack is first introduced in Lethal Affair and she is mean! She’s the nemesis to Domino’s character. Well, as the series continues, Jack makes another appearance. This time in Missing Lynx. With this story, Jack’s background is explained further and the reader is able to get the oh-that’s-why-Jack-is-such-a-meanie explanation. In my opinion it doesn’t really change her meanness but, Jack is a character who makes the series because of it and you can’t help but love that person inside.
Another example of seeing a different side of a character is Marianne K. Martin’s Sage Bristo. When I first met Sage in Love in the Balance I thought she was such a jerk for getting in between the true rightness of Connie and Kasey. I mean how could anyone NOT see how perfect those two characters were for each other?! It made such an impact on me that when I read the blurb for Legacy of Love which gives Sage’s story it took me a couple of years to break down and buy it. I mean why would I want to read about such a jerk who tried to step between two women who were meant to be together? But I’m so glad that I did! What a wonderful character Sage turned out to be- she definitely deserved her own story.
So one character is explained and she is still on the edgy side, the other character is explained and she turns into a sweetheart. Does it make one character better than the other? Well I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on that! I think their stories fit them perfectly, because our lesfic authors are that amazing and capture characters that well. Still wondering though- what bad characters have been revisited in their own story to give them a past to explain their present? Which untold stories have I missed? And what characters do you think would rock a back story? Should more lesfic authors who write a bad character into their stories give that character a chance to share their reason for being so bad?