Untrust Worthy Characters

It’s good to be honest and trust worthy. Lies and secrets causes unnecessary problems. But it also makes for boring plots.

In the second book of Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files, Full Moon, Kim Delaney asks Harry Dresden for help, but she didn’t tell him the whole truth.

It’s vital information that could have helped him solve the mystery of strange animal murders. This same lack of information gets him into more trouble with his friend Detective Karrin Murphy and a lot of people die unnecessarily.

When all is said and done, Harry blames himself. If only he had told Kim the whole truth … But he didn’t know why she wanted the information. He thought she was delving into black magic. He wanted to protect her from her curiosity.

If she had been honest with him, he would have gone with her to preform the spell. He’d have had the answers to solve the murders. Murphy would not have been angry with him. People would not have died.

But, most importantly, there would have been no plot — no book to read.

Unreliable characters cause problems for the protagonist. Problems that complicate the  obstacles the protagonist is already trying to overcome. Life would be so much easier without these characters, but these same characters makes for a more interesting plot.