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Mike Dellosso | Dancing with the Devil: How I Create Fictional Villains without Becoming a Real-Life One
Author Guest / June 17, 2016

I kill people. And for the most part I make sure they stay dead. No, this isn’t an admission of guilt that will now land me on the front page of my local newspaper and maybe a few national rags. In fact, not only do I not bear any actual guilt, but I don’t feel guilty about killing people at all. Or killing dogs. Or cats. My killing sprees are wholly fictional and completely a product of my imagination. I kill people in my stories (and a few dogs and cats too). Well, to be fair, I don’t kill them; my characters do. But since I’m the puppet master controlling the strings, I guess I’m mostly to blame for the crimes committed in my books. And while I don’t feel bad or guilty about forcing fictional characters to perpetrate crimes against one another, I do need to be careful. Sometimes fiction can spill over into reality. To create believably bad dudes, I need to put myself inside the heads and psyches of those villains. I need to become them on a certain level. And that can be a frightening ordeal. I don’t want to be a villain, not physically and…