Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A-Z Blog Challenge: J

J is for Justification!

It’s natural.  After all, everybody needs a reason to do what they do, right?  Even the bad guy.  Unless he’s just plain evil.  And in that case, um…the devil made him do it?  :D 

In my book, Cornerstone Deep, Lord Dressen tried countless times to get Anna to fall for him.  Since none of them worked, he upped the strategy.  In his mind, it was his standing that kept her from considering a life with him so he removed the option of her considering altogether.  He justified his plan by believing that she loved him and that he was helping her get past the obstacle.  His unhealthy obsession with her to begin with is another story.  And justification plays a role in it too.

To me, knowing why the antagonist does his deeds usually makes me dislike him all-the-more.  Then when very different people lock horns and have their own views justifying their actions, things get exciting.  The tension builds and I root for hero to save the day.  (Or at least survive trying).

Would you rather have insight to why the villain does what he does?  Or do you like to just hate the bad guy for doing it?



Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Oh I always think the villian is so much better when he has a "reason" for doing what he does. My villians usually have a reason or justification that makes the reader maybe sympathize with them a bit or understand them in a way, but since he is the villian he just takes things way too far.

Great post!

Misha Gerrick said...

Great post! I have an interesting situation where my one protagonist is the one justifying himself, because it's who he is.

Villain wise, I enjoy it when the writer gives a thought to his motivations. Still, some of the best villains I can think of have motivations (they must), but I am never told what they are.

Shannon Lawrence said...

That's an interesting question, and one I haven't really thought of. I did feel my villain needed a reason for his actions, but there is no underlying reason for his being a scumbag. I think it depends on the villain, but you probably need at taste of a reason. I'd almost say the best villains are the ones you can sort of sympathize with, because that adds a whole new element to the story.

Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!

Charlene A. Wilson said...

Ana: Taking it too far. Yeah, that's a great way to see it. Dressen definately took his goal too far. Lol.

Misha: Oh, I think the protagonist needs his reasons to do what he does too. Then it's great when the two go at it. :D

Shannon: I think it tugs at our conscience a bit to be able to almost understand where he would be coming from. For me, it ties up the emotions more. :)