Should we feel sorry for Aidan Dunn, the main character in my debut novel Dunn, or does he deserve everything he gets?

I have a confession.

My main character in Dunn – my newly released debut novel (do you see what I did with the totally unsubtle plug there) – is a bit of (let’s put this politely) an idiot and I don’t really know where in my strange brain he came from.

That’s not to say that I don’t like him…..

I’ve spent 9 years getting to know him; trying to make him horrible in a sympathetic way. He isn’t even really an anti-hero because nothing he does is for the benefit of anyone but him – apart from maybe a scene towards the end with his love interest, Lizzie, but no spoilers.

I should hate him, but I cant.

With a past like the one I dreamed up for him, how could I feel anything but pity for him?

But should I feel sorry for him? He is – as mentioned above – a selfish, manipulative idiot. He craves nothing but money and power.

(Unsubtle plug 2. You can buy Dunn on amazon googleplay; iBooks and other retailers to follow or it will be available as a paperback through the troubador website next month. It’s marked as out of stock at the moment…. I am chasing it.)

Why on earth didn’t I write a simpler story about someone nice?

I guess because I’m just not like that.

And because, the further I got in the process of writing Dunn, the more I thought about the point of my novel and what I wanted to create.

There are lots of great stories out there about nice people and the horrible things that happen to them, I wanted to write something that makes you question your response. Aidan is horrible, but does that mean he deserves what he gets? Especially in light of his past? And what about the others? All of the characters in Dunn are deliberately a bit larger than life as a result. I nicked this idea from Charles Dickens, particularly Bleak House – not that I’m likening myself to him, I’m not!

So let me know if I managed to do this. Over the coming weeks, I plan to draft some interviews/short-stories/vignets with other key characters to explore them a bit more! Draft being the operative word as I have also started the second draft of ‘The Raven’s Test’ following the brutal, I mean honest feedback, I received from my husband (note I’ve dropped the ‘lovely’ on this occasion 😂)

He wants to watch it or I’ll set the Morrigan on him …..

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Not really. He – like my writing tutor Todd who has been involved from the inception of the soon-to-be-renamed ‘Seagull’ and various people on wattpad, have quite rightly pointed out that I need to develop my main character, Louis the sun god, to make his actions more believable at the start. They are right. He must be mad to talk to and follow a seagull, so I have started redrafting chapter one on 9still called the Seagull there, but same cover image) wattpad (you can read it free here ) to give some insight into his mental health and his reason for following Melissa the seagull. There’s still a long way to go. Two drafts is nowhere near enough if my experience with Dunn is anything to go by, but let’s hope that each book in the ‘Longhand Chronicles’ doesn’t take 9 years to get to a standard I feel is publishable. Otherwise, I’ll be 70 and I’ve got loads of other books to write if my darn back will let me!

Longhand and the Raven's test

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