master of puppters

{ The more I think about it, the more I think the terms “hero” and “villain” do such a disservice to modern literature. I understand those terms have a time and place when we’re talking about straight-forward storylines that are more about the setting or the action than the characters…but any good story that focuses on its characters usually has so much more to it than that.

We have this expectation….this perceived notion that any ‘hero’ is a morally good person, while the ‘villain’ is inexcusable in any way and any feelings of sympathy towards them are justifying what they are do.

I think it’s really healthy when literature moves away from that idea, when we realize that the majority of morals are based on personal perception than they are defined rules. ‘Heroes’ in our real world have their flaws, you often find that influential presidents can be drunks and womanizers, and that leaders and speakers of peace often neglected their own families and had times where their actions don’t line up with their actions. And as for ‘villains’? You can often trace back sick killers and cruel organizations to something in their past. Though there always will be people that are monsters for no traceable reason- far more often do I find that it traces back to a preventable cause; be it childhood trauma or a mental illness they sought help for. 

It’s so easy to disconect ourselves from the world in that sense- to ignore the fact that our idols and objects of hate are just people. People that were once like us. 

tldr; the long and the short of my point here is that you shouldn’t be ashamed of what your characters are. Don’t restrict yourself based on what role you think they should have and listen to their desires and reasons. A great story doesn’t need a ‘hero’ or a ‘villian’ - only a protagonist and antagonist. }