Writer Life & Lessons Writing Process - Preparing

FC14 Panel: Gentleman Thieves, Loveable Pirates and Sex(y) Tricksters


*The actual programme said “sex tricksters”, and thus this is how I shall forever refer to it.

Third panel of day one: and one I don’t feel I need to introduce. It was essentially “These people (see title); Why do we love them?”

Panellists were: James Barclay, Joanne Harris, Kim Larkin-Smith, David Tallerman, Francis Hardinge, and Libby McGuigan.

My Notes

– People are generally sympathetic, particularly to people in a ‘system’ who have tried to escape it.

– They meet reader’s need for escapism, and often represent freedom.

– These characters, even though they may not follow a moral code of the law, they have a moral code, which they follow and have reasons for believing in.

– We like to see a balance, so when the character fights against injustices, it feels “less wrong.”

– There are specific ideals now focusing on how romantic highwaymen/pirates can be.

– The victimised (i.e. those impacted negatively) are often not mentioned in great detail, detracting from the audience who may have noticed how harmful the character’s behaviour may be.

– As soon as something becomes a cartoon, it’s not scary anymore.


Next up, a panel on females who don’t become love interests.

How do you feel about thieves and tricksters in literature and the media?
Do we only like them when romanticised?

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