This is probably too difficult to touch on (as opposed to tackle, or deal with) in a brief blog, but it might supply a catalyst for further thinking - mine. The novelist John Gardner (1933-1982) , prematurely dead in a motorcycle accident, just before his third marriage, wrote two books about writing that -forgive me - I think are going to outlive his novels. His best-known novel was Grendel, the Beowulf story told from the pov of the monster. He taught writing and his insights and exercises and assessments offer excellent stimuli to wannabe writers, but the book that sticks with me is a collection of essays and criticism titled Moral Fiction. He thought that writing should be moral, not in the religious sense but in the acknowledgement of universal truths. He thought hat you had to be a good person to be a good writer. If you weren't that good, then writing well might make you a little better. That's my over-simplification, I guess, but bear with me. In order to create whole, believable characters, a writer has to have insight, and tolerance, He has to get inside the heads of all the people she writes about. I think this is even truer for a playwright, but then, I'm biased. It shows, though. The writer's intimate knowledge of the character in attitudes, speech and behaviour produces a fully rounded, living, breathing human being, criminal or not. Such intimacy fosters love. Doesn't it? Some kind of love. Oh, if only!
It's late, I'm getting incoherent. I'll try again tomorrow.
I did, and I amended it, but it's still not what it should be. Anon, anon.