[LMB] OT: Villains -- WAS: Mirror Dance, yes or no?
mmegaera at nwlink.com
Fri Sep 26 04:47:38 BST 2008
> Why do we need backstories for the villains?
I suspect it's a matter of taste. I read for character, pretty much full
stop. Plots that hang together are nice, good world-building is nice,
thematic stuff is interesting, a distinctive voice is good. But if the
characters (preferably even secondary characters, preferably even villains)
aren't three-dimensional and rounded, then you've lost me as a reader.
Which is why I find Lois's writing so appealing 99% of the time. And why I
find the few times she doesn't round out a character to my satisfaction
As to why I don't just accept the "he was born evil" theory of villain
characterization, well, there's a Twain quote (and, yes, I'm pretty sure it
really is a Twain quote this time), "Fiction is obliged to stick to
possibilities. Truth isn't." Which I interpret as meaning that you've got
to keep fiction plausible. Lots of things happen in real life that wouldn't
be plausible in fiction. *For me,* "he was born evil" is one of them.
BTW, I'm not saying we have to understand a villain, or gods forbid, be
sympathetic towards him, just that he be plausible. I prefer a villain who
thinks he's the hero of his own story. But that means I need to know his
I was one of the ones who complained about the Joker, too. I admired Heath
Ledger's virtuosity in portraying him, but I never felt he was real.
one of the few who liked Batman Begins better than The Dark Knight -- it
wasn't so relentlessly *depressing*
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