Redemption stories are starting to go vanilla (opinion)

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by ATrueStory, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. ATrueStory

    ATrueStory Villainesses, Historical Shit, Noble Circuses

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    ...Says on the tin.

    Lately, I'm consuming a ton of content (thanks Netflix and Amazon) and as I do, I am starting to gravitate towards materials that arent my type (I miss the Megaupload days). Back then, I really like redemption stories. I mean, for some time, it was kind the formula for making a character develop. Here's a douche character and part of his development is go for the redemption route and everything has a relatively happy ever after. Which is nice and a good closure for some.

    Lately, I'm feeling kinda sick of those redemption stories. Like its so predictable. I know as a reader that this douche character will go this route and in my author POV, it's a hit and miss if that redemption route feels like a regression. But in some instances, I started thinking why does this character need redemption anyway? Readers will hate anyone they hate and the same goes for people who love them. Even a redemption story will unlikely to change people's minds. Besides, I don't like reading that a redemption story is just a 'pass' for others who eventually like the character. For me, even characters who weren't redeemed can have an interesting and complicated backstory without f going to a redemption route.

    I'd like to know whether you share or didn't like this opinion. I think I might bn build an irredeemable character for a friend since she seems interested in the idea. before I jump, I like to know if somebody has done it and if possible, how they pulled it off.
     
    flamingorangesoof, djan29 and Meloman like this.
  2. Meloman

    Meloman Well-Known Member

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    There are as many character types as there are opinions. So just write your idea (which I think sounds good) and develop your character. So long as it’s logical- it will work for someone (some reader).

    this reminded me of one anime (I only watched the anime, did not read the manga, which I think has more story than the anime) called Golgo 13. It’s about a hitman etc etc, well the thing is he is “a villain” from a normal person POV. But for himself he is a pro, with a capital P. So you will either like his character or not , but (as far as I remember, I watched it in like 2015-16) the character made sense, as far as I remember.

    good luck with your writing!
     
  3. reagents 11

    reagents 11 disaster personified

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    There's a joy to see justice being served. It just an appeals that sold to the readers among other kinds of genre. Were we talks about something less emotional or outright emotionally disconnected you'd read something that looks like political or philosophical. That was it.
     
  4. zenla

    zenla { Totally human being} {Kingdom building fanatic}

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    You know it is this word genre after all. Since the work is that genre so it must have its common cliches otherwise it is not a work in that genre. Doing what works is too common too. As they say there are two types of writers. Those who write whatever they want hoping for a hit and those repeating what works.
     
  5. lamb19

    lamb19 Active Member

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    Well, a villain or character doesn't always have to redeemed. Just think of them as people, there are some that reflect and change(i.e influence of the enviroment while growing up like chauvinism); there are others who reflect, are aware that what they are doing is still bad and do it anyway( i.e " i didn't chose the tough life, tough life chose me" thoughts); and there are people who doesn't reflect at all (i.e emotional immaturity).
    And lets be clear, there are bad people and there are evil people. Just because most people aren't inherently evil doesn't mean that they don't exist.
     
  6. rhianirory

    rhianirory Well-Known Member

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    Instead of redemption you could go the other route and read/write revenge, which is usually a vanilla character to something more complex and darker while still retaining the readers' empathy and approval.
     
  7. waleuska

    waleuska Well-Known Member

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    I can think of two great redemption stories on the top of my head Mushoku Tensei (WN) and NPC Town-building Game.

    Mushoku Tensei is about an asshole that just leach off his parents and at their funeral didn't even know they died and was found masturbating. The reason why I think the MC have a good redemption arc is because it takes a lot of time and effort before he deems himself redeem. He died saving a little girls life and gets transported to another whole. (yes an isekai) But that alone doesn't change his world view. Not only that but he meets a god like being and each time he meets him until the very end of the story. He seems himself as the guy who masturbate at his parents funeral not the guy he looks like in the new world. It takes decades for him to change the view of himself.

    Now in NPC town building game. We learn that the MC is a neet because of bad luck. He was a hard worker in highschool and college but the moment he got out of college the market crash and it was hard for him to get a job. Because of this he start having negative feelings about himself that compound over the years. He wasn't a piece of crap that needed to be redeem but someone who needed self convince.
     
  8. ATrueStory

    ATrueStory Villainesses, Historical Shit, Noble Circuses

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    Currently in progress and thanks!

    Thanks for the advice.

    I'm currently focusing on revenge novels here and I hope I could find one to my liking. On readers' empathy and approval, that will take some work and I don't know if it can pulled off.
     
  9. XiaoWenTian

    XiaoWenTian Well-Known Member

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    I loved a revenge novel where the mc
    is ruthless, antisocial, and selfish, who could kill someone she just met to 'help' her, and burn zombies into sea of flames without fear (I suspect she awakened into an arsonist). The FL however, tried her best to make MC more sane, trying to stop her crazy stunt, and one time nearly strangled MC after they killed their revenge target. MC immediately left FL after knocked her out, but that's what all FL thought. She thought MC left her, when if fact MC just slept in different room since FL is in berserk state when strangling her. MC and FL later meet after a few months has passed, FL apologized at what she has done, MC didn't want to forgive her, but decided to, she gave FL one last chance to never betray her; and they're together as a team again, but FL no longer question MC morals.
    Later she understood what MC has gone through, why she did such things, and apologized for everything she has done to her.