Toxic people drain me and sometimes color the way I feel about myself, so I don't usually write them into my stories. Sure there are villains (antagonists), but I leave them in the background - in the shadows. The focus (think movie camera) is set for the close shots of the good guys, the people like us. These are people who play by the rules, not realizing that only people like them [who need no rules] are the ones who do.
I don't like reading books or watching movies with vile people in them. They disturb my spirit, my thought process, and erode the goodness I usually see. However, I'm thinking about making major changes to Act Like You Mean It, which is a derailed love story, and making the negative personality traits bigger and more obnoxious.
I don't have time to write right now with all these [good] transitions in my life, and maybe I will change my mind about ACT (writers give nick-names to their WIPs). I do feel it coming though, I feel the urge to write more boldly, perhaps more commercially. I feel the stretch coming, the stretch to step out of my comfort zone and write something unlike how I write.
The danger in that, of course, is it could alienate my fans to write so different from what they have come to expect after three novels. On the other hand, it might attract new readers who would only like that one book. I'll have to give this some thought. Storm Surge is definitely a bridge to somewhere.
Maybe it is time to move from writing the 'everyman' protagonist. Maybe it is time to trust my readers to trust me.
Now I've gone off thinking rather than concentrating on this post. Perhaps Raven's Song would be a better ms for this experiment. Well, that's it. I have to hurry and finish this moving project so I have time to write before I begin my new job. But did I mention, I have to become fluent in Spanish for this job. Que what?
Just to give you something to comment on, what would be a radical change in your writing style?