In everything I write, there seems to be a character who refuses to be defined. Throughout the rough draft he (or she, I really can't say) is nebulous and shifty. For me, it's often a "bad" character, one who will be in some way dishonest.

Of course I begin with a scenario, so I know his/her role and propensities, but how does he/she present to the reader? In a mystery, it's important to give clues so readers don't feel cheated at the end by a surprise from out of nowhere. But how much is too much? Also, there are questions of simple appearance: is he/she beautiful on the outside, or do tell-tale signs appear in his/her manner of dress, social behavior, or physical appearance?

My current problem is a secondary baddie. He began as a woman, a rather sniveling, gossipy servant, but that didn't work well with plot points, so he became a sniveling, gossipy soldier. I don't like him that way, either, so I'm toying with the idea of nice-outside-wrapper, nasty-inside character. I have the feeling that once I "capture" him, he'll be a great addition to the plot and to the surprises needed at the end. But if I don't get hold of him soon, there may be a lot of rewriting to be done in Draft #2.

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