Is it possible for a good person to turn truly bad, or not really? - Page 2

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Thread: Is it possible for a good person to turn truly bad, or not really?

  1. #11
    Most real-life examples I have seen go the other way (a very evil person suddenly turning their life around), but I think this could plausibly happen. Think: what generally keeps people from committing evil acts? I'd think external social framework, external moral framework, internal moral compass, explicit worldview or set of principles, etc. The line between "good person" and "bad person" is only defined by how many lies they are willing to believe.

    This quote from Jennifer Fulwiler: "Almost nobody ever says, 'Im going to do something evil today, and Im OK with that.' The only way any of us ever do anything bad is by telling ourselves a story to justify it. All of us are 'good people' in that were repulsed by evilso the only way evil can ever operate is to redefine itself as something not evil at all."

    So, what's their "story"? How did they redefine the act or goal? And how did the external frameworks that would have prevented them disappear or become irrelevant? Or (this is admittedly rare but not impossible), are they aware that what they are doing is evil, and why don't they care?

    Then you have to convince the viewer, in a short amount of time, of this arc, which might be your problem. Maybe you know his motivation but it's just not clear or believable enough to the viewer. I don't write screenplays, but I would imagine you probably need at least one "turning point" scene and lead-up or hints in precious scenes.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.

  2. #12
    You gotta establish a weakness they have. Something they haven't dealt with, something they don't want to deal with.
    Dead by Dawn!

  3. #13
    Oh okay... When you say a weakness they don't want to deal with, wouldn't not wanting to deal with a killer getting away with it, be a weakness they don't wan to deal with, or what do you mean by that exactly?

  4. #14
    When you say a weakness they don't want to deal with, wouldn't not wanting to deal with a killer getting away with it, be a weakness they don't wan to deal with, or what do you mean by that exactly?
    It's a moral weakness, yes. A flaw in their moral armor. In your specific case it would be either laziness or cowardice depending on the context. If you've ever seen the movie Hellraiser, the fatal flaw in the character Larry is that he is a pushover and a coward. He is generally a good guy, but his refusal to confront his wife about her apparent infidelity ultimately results in his death. You can probably google 'fatal flaw' and get more results for this, I think the idea has been around since Ancient Greece at least.
    Dead by Dawn!

  5. #15
    Oh okay. Well in my case, I want a whole group to go on the revenge quest, a revenge mob, if you will. So wouldn't I have to give a fatal flaw to each member then? And these are not hugely major character, but are just pawns in another character's plan, so wouldn't the story loose focus if I had to give fatal flaws to a group of less major characters?

  6. #16
    Depends on the story. In your case, it depends on whether or not these people are actually characters themselves or just a plot device. Sometimes in a story you have 'people' who aren't really characters. They perform the same role that an unthinking monster or a huge fire would, which is being an existential threat to your protagonists.
    Dead by Dawn!

  7. #17
    Oh okay, well is having the plot device a bad thing, or are readers looking for more, even if it's just minor characters that are being used as pawns in a major character's plan?

  8. #18
    is having the plot device a bad thing
    No. All stories have them. It is up to you as an author to implement them correctly.
    Dead by Dawn!

  9. #19
    The one thing that sprung to my mind was justice. Someone who is badly, emotionally hurt and who fails to get the justice they deserve could quite easily take on the task itself. This is how terrorist groups groom some vulnerable soul into becoming a suicide bomber. No-one wakes up one day and decides to become a suicide bomber, it takes a skilled operator to push the psychological buttons and pull the emotional levers.

    Lack of justice was behind duelling in the good old days.

  10. #20
    Okay thanks, it's just that Western society seems so anti-revenge, cause whenever you read a news story about a killer who slips through the cracks, like say O.J. Simpson for example, there is never any angry mobs who form to take him out or anything like that, and people just believe in the system, and don't want to take revenge it seems.

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