have been a fan of police and mystery dramas for as long as I can
remember. Murder She Wrote, Matlock and The Shield are some of my favorites. Jessica Fletcher always
seemed to be at the right place at the right time when someone died and Matlock
always found a way to uncover the truth. It was a certainty that Jessica and
Matlock prevailed in the end. The viewers expected it and it kept them coming
back for more. Then, there is Vic Mackey, a gritty cop that does unethical
things, but at the same time, he is an effective cop. Vic pushes the boundaries and skillfully
displays how far a cop can go to get results.
writers of The Shield series have achieved a rare occurrence. They managed to make
Vic so good at being bad that the viewer wants him to get away with just about
anything; even murder! I never thought I
would root for the bad guy. So I asked myself, has my value system changed? It did not, I want good to prevail
over evil. However, we see good prevail in just about every storyline.
Shield’s success can be attributed to the character Vic Mackey exhibiting protagonist
and antagonist traits. The dual role takes on a life of its own when the viewer
becomes emotionally invested in his efforts to evade his superiors and
maintaining his position on the Strike Team. Therefore, I strive to create
characters that you love to hate or love. Getting the reader to care is not
an easy task. You have to give the reader a reason to care about what happens
to your character. Otherwise, the character is shot and the reader flips the
page or turns the channel without a second thought.
character should leave an impression on the reader to the point that they
question themselves. How can an author encourage a reader to care? A non-literary
example is the Caylee Anthony case. The media and law enforcement play a
crucial role in making the public aware when a child is missing. They show the public
pictures of the child, and keep us informed when the police have new leads. The
media and law enforcement make the public care about finding the child. There
is no exact formula to achieve this task. We are different and respond to the
same situation in different ways. We only have to look within ourselves and
ask why should the reader care?