31 October 2013

The Easy Way Out

Okay, so the title for this might make a few people upset, but I’m going to keep it anyway.

Last time I typed about a character’s past coming back to haunt them.  This time I’d like to talk about a very common theme in stories—Redemption.

We’re not going to delve. Just a quick example and you’ll be on your way.

Star Wars.
Anakin Skywalker.
The entire Star Wars story is really about Anakin. I hate to admit it, because half of it is so badly told that I hated Anakin. Anyway, it’s really his story.

So in the end, when he turns away from being a Sith, and goes back to being a Jedi (Return of the Jedi, get it?) he throws off his past.

But he can’t redeem himself. Not really. And he knows he’s dying, so he grabs the Emperor—the person who caused this whole big mess—and tosses him down a shaft into some sort of energy source that fries him.

Poof.  Gone.

Then Anakin turns the rest of the Star Wars universe over to Luke.

This redemption while, or in the act of, dying (which may be the same thing) is a pretty common trope. It works, which is why I’m bringing it up. And it can be very powerful when executed well.

But if this is your main character, be very, very careful. I say that because you just gave them the easy way out. They did what they could in the end, but then left everyone else to clean up the mess.

I’ll leave more on how to use that one up to you.


Carry on.

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