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Revenge - A Plot Motivator

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Old 03-05-2016, 10:55 AM
CDawson (Offline)
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Default Revenge - A Plot Motivator


What is your favorite plot motivator? Persecution? Betrayal? Catastrophe? Vengeance? The urge for vengeance is obsessive. To write about revenge, the writer must portray the need for vengeance as an all-consuming aspiration that controls the actions of the protagonist. An excellent portrayal of the need for revenge can be found in Kill Bill, and the protagonist exacts brutal justice against her violent enemies one by one.

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Old 03-05-2016, 11:57 AM
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:11 PM
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Hey, CDawson. How be thee? Good, I hope.

Revenge seems most satisfying of the many motives driving stories. It seeks justice for offenses outside retribution.

However, there's got of be equal relationship between crime and punishment. Killing someone for stealing a bike wouldn't be accepted by most readers.

The merging of good and bad in MCs causes an additional problem in finding the proper balance between crime and just deserts. The bad good guy and the good bad guy can derail the story because it shifts the dramatic tension from justice to the question of which value system will resolve the story.

The Parker series by Westlake are a joy to read because Parker, or the writer, doesn't waste Readers time with morality.

I love good revenge stories. i also like writing them.

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Old 03-22-2016, 07:57 AM
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Revenge isn't a good motivator for me because that isn't how I think. Kill Bill is a good example of how someone can be eaten up by the need for revenge and how hollow that revenge can be.

If I was driven to seek revenge agaist those who'd done bad things to me I think I'd probably have ended up as a black-hearted and horrible person. It takes more to forgive than to take revenge.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:56 PM
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Hi wyf.

I wasn't going to respond but something you said keeps rolling around in mind.

((It takes more to forgive than to take revenge.))

So... it takes more WHAT?

In my world justice is hard to find. But injustice is everywhere. And often it's injustice without penalty. Are you suggesting "turn the other cheek"? Forgive those who harm me? I spent many years trying to live that way but got tired of it. I'm not suggesting violence but giving a bully another chance to do bad is counterproductive.

So... what are you suggesting?

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Old 03-23-2016, 05:27 AM
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What I'm saying is yes you're right, injustice is everywhere, but revenge isn't justice, it's just hurting people.

Yes, I have turned the other cheek. there were times particularly when I was young where I had elaborate fantasies about how I would hurt or even kill the men who fucked my life up and thse fantasies sustained me when I had nothing else, but you have to let it go.

If I still harboured those fantasies or, worse, acted them out, I would be as bad as they were. I had no recourse to justice. when I complained to what I thought was an authority figure I was knocked about and left with the message that 'girls like me' were all liars and whores, and nobody would believe me and I'd be in even worse trouble.

As I've got older and wiser and more knowledgeable about abuse and its causes, I have learned to forgive. Not for their sake, but for mine, because for me to believe that people did what they did to me because they themselves were damaged gives me a degree of hope. If I believed that such evil could exist in the world just for their entertainment, I don't know what I'd do. Life would not be worth living.

Revenge is easy. if someone hurts you you just lash out and hurt them back. it becomes a cycle.

Forgiveness isn't so easy, but it breaks the cycle and calms the shit in my head a little. I ddint forgive because of any high principle but for reasons of self preservation.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:20 AM
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Hi wyf.

Hi
I admire you for your honesty for not referring to what an imaginary god who claims vengeance belongs to him as quoted by spiritual leaders. You said a couple of things I’d like to respond to.

((As I've got older and wiser and more knowledgeable about abuse and its causes, I have learned to forgive. Not for their sake, but for mine, because for me to believe that people did what they did to me because they themselves were damaged gives me a degree of hope. If I believed that such evil could exist in the world just for their entertainment, I don't know what I'd do. Life would not be worth living.))

I’d like to share a personal writing experience. Prior to writing Johnny Nine Lives I spent a year researching Capital Punishment. I went to Victim Rights group and listened to them about the loss of loved ones at the hands of killers. I also went to meetings of anti death penalty groups, including Amnesty International. I educated myself of both sides to the death penalty issue. Then I wrote the first draft. I was confused about how to end the story, although I was faithful to both sides of the argument, it took longer to write the ending because the arguments from both sides screamed in my mind. I finally realized that I had to decide to kill him or let the cops save him.

Whn I thought about the serial killer and his upbringing I realized I could forgive him since the mayhem he delivered to so many was a direct result of the molding of his personality. He didn’t seem so evil and maybe should be forgiven. On the other side, if I thought about the victims, raped, killed and dismembered, I felt the evil of those actions. After that personal struggle, I finally had the grandfather of one of the victims kill him in an act of vengeance and it felt good to me. I still ponder the arguments for and against the death penalty. But am convinced that if someone does a crime they have do the time. And in States with the death penalty that means loss of life. I apologize for the length of this… You went on to say…

((Revenge is easy. if someone hurts you you just lash out and hurt them back. it becomes a cycle.))

You and I have traveled different roads to this moment. I grew up with an abusive mother who used to whip me after demanding I give her my belt. When she whipped me on face I had to spend three weeks not going to school until the welts healed. During that time all I could think about was getting even. The next time she demanded my belt I gave it to her and was prepared to receive another whipping. With the first lash something snapped in me and I slugged her and broke her nose. Her physical abuse of me stopped as it did for my siblings. I learned a lesson from that not to turn the other cheek in wasted gestures of forgiveness. If I don’t stand up for myself and what’s right and just no one else will and the injustice will continue.

((Forgiveness isn't so easy, but it breaks the cycle and calms the shit in my head a little. I ddint forgive because of any high principle but for reasons of self preservation.))

I respect you for that. And you’re not alone in your response to injustice without penalty. Every Victim Rights group I attended had a few members who had forgiven the killer(s) of their loved ones. I spent a lot of time with some of these people. Instead of fixating on what happened to their loved ones (like some others in these groups) they forgave and this let them get rid of the terrible thoughts of the killing. Most of them had become religious. Some of them seemed happy. Some of these ‘forgivers’ however admitted to terrible nightmares. I remember marveling at their ability to forgive. I don’t think I could do it.

No one I care about has been murdered yet. And if one is, I’m not sure I would try to stop an impulse to get even.

You comments opened up all this baggage I carry around. And I do apologize for the length of my response, but not for the content.

Have a nice writing day.
wrc
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