The good guys in my novels are what I would have liked to have been...

Based on what I just read in Sunday's New York Times Book Review about recent Dickens' biographies, I am thinking about the incredible amount of truth contained in Dickens' unveiling of himself to Dostoyevsky when they met :

“He told me,” Dostoyevsky recalled in a letter written years later, “that all the good, simple people in his novels . . . are what he wanted to have been, and his villains were what he was (or rather, what he found in himself), his cruelty, his attacks of causeless enmity towards those who were helpless and looked to him for comfort, his shrinking from those whom he ought to love. . . . There were two people in him, he told me: one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite. From the one who feels the opposite I make my evil characters, from the one who feels as a man ought to feel, I try to live my life.” 

That about sums up the way I write.  The good guys in my novels are what I would have liked to have been and the villains are what I (unfortunately) am :-)

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