When people write dark characters, most immediately think this character is supposed to be evil. Sure, dark characters can have evil qualities, but, just because they have a dark, grim, or pessimistic outlook on reality doesn’t make them evil. It just makes them dark.
Dark characters tend to be more introspective than evil characters, they look at themselves in relation to the world rather than the world in relation to them. Dark character typically don’t have an delusions of grandeur or any animosity, necessarily, against the world. They look in the mirror and think about how they can change to adjust to a harsh reality.
Evil characters, on the other hand, don’t look in the mirror but blame the external world for their less than stellar circumstances. They feel like they’ve been wrong and that it is the world that is corrupt as opposed to them. They tend to seek to change the world rather than change to adjust to the world.
Evil characters often stem from those that believe they are doing good. Those who believe they are just and can never be wrong. Evil characters tend to have more conviction in their beliefs, whereas the dark character carries a philosophical self-doubt.
Evil characters are so alluring because they have conviction in themselves and their beliefs, where as dark characters seem to be brooding, moody, and often mysterious which does something to add to their allure.
Translation: the main difference between a dark and evil character is their psychology, rather than physical or tangible attributes.
Dark characters are more or less stuck at a crossroads, they are wanderers trying to figure themselves out as well as their place in the world. They are the nomads with no religion, no worldly pleasures (typically), and no place they call home. They are the ones who walk into the unknown and find themselves on the other end of it.
Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week. . .