Would like to bring up the topic of when you have a main character or characters do bad things. That is, "unpopular things". If a character murders a serial rapist, your readers are more likely to cheer and sympathize/relate to them more. If, however, you have them murder a security guard who witnessed them committing a crime... then it becomes challenging keeping the character in a state where others care about them. There are two main ways to solve this problem which come to mind. A) Make them into a badguy or anti-hero--make the readers see the character as an enemy whom they want to see stopped. B) Have it as a character's fall on their path to damnation, possibly with redemption in mind for the end. Would like to present a particular scenario I have considered before. A situation where the main character does something the readers will consider bad, but within the setting it is seen as highly normal. For example, taking a fellow lord's children as hostages was a common practice to ensure treaties and deals would be kept, in many cultures. Were the treaty broken... the children would be killed--sometimes in a very unpleasant manner. The easy solution when faced with such a circumstance, is for the character to not harm the children despite the other lord breaking the pact. Discussing how to do things the easy way is rarely interesting. How would you go about having a character perform malpractices without portraying them as the badguy, and without having the story be their "fall from grace"?