1. Viserion

    Viserion Senior Member

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    To Redeem or not to Redeem?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Viserion, Feb 18, 2020.

    I’ve been writing a story about a seemingly normal hero who has the ability to turn into a dragon. Blah, blah, blah, he fights an evil empire and grows more vicious and cruel as time goes by. In the end, his best friend pleads with him to spare the capitol. Should I have him be redeemed, or have him plunge into evil overlord territory?
     
  2. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Active Member

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    I'll be honest, you've really provided no supporting information for the question. Here are some questions that may inspire complexity: Does he have good reason not to spare the capitol? Does the end of his arc have to be so binary? Do the words of his friend carry weight, and if so, why? What are the possible consequences of not wholly vanquishing the enemy? What sacrifices has the protagonist already made in the effort to do so? How much of his identity is dependent upon the exercise of his power?

    If you can't decide, let the story decide. Wait until you reach that pivotal moment, 80k or so words in, and the answer will likely be clear.
     
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  3. Viserion

    Viserion Senior Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I’ll have to keep that in mind.
     
  4. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    Redeeming villains suddenly seems to be all the rage lately and for me, it really depends on what they've done. There are things that deserve punishment, not just because it was wrong but out of respect for the victim. I dislike a redemption ark for murdering bastards. Why should they get a second chance when their innocent victims never will? Things like that.
     
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  5. TheOtherPromise

    TheOtherPromise Senior Member

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    Wow, sounds a little like the story I'm working on. (Though mine doesn't have dragons, at least not in a prominent role.)

    Ultimately this will really impact what type of story you're telling so keep in mind the kind of tone and message you want to have in your story.

    If the hero (I'm assuming he's the PoV character) does become irredeemable than you've written a tragedy. And it should be presented as such (fairly early on if possible) otherwise you run the risk of upsetting your readers.

    If he does turn back from his fall, well then you'll need to show why this choice is different from his prior ones so that he would act different. If his friend has been by his side this whole time but silent, why do they speak up now? If they've been trying to get the hero to hold back throughout the story, why does the hero choose to listen here? Why are the stakes different to make this the line he won't cross? And why should we believe that because he doesn't cross this line, he has fundamentally changed and won't be as cruel as he's been, in the future?

    This is something I too have been struggling with in my own characters' redemption arcs so I don't really have any answers to give you, just questions.
     
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  6. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 12/210 MP: 0/130 Contributor

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    Ultimately, it's YOUR story. Do what you want to do, not what other people think you should do.
     
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