Humanizing the Bad Guy (or, Some Thoughts on Violence in Fiction) – by Usvaldo De Leon, Jr…

on Helping Writers become Authors:

Our sense of story is almost like an extrasensory organ. It enables us to pick up on subtle signals in tone and intent and this allows us to interpret how we should respond when we encounter violence in fiction. These signals are more important than the actual act we are reading about or viewing.

This is why the same beat—someone shoots someone else—can produce varied responses. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, we laugh when Indy shoots the swordsman. But in Gandhi, when the Mahatma is assassinated, we cry.

Emotion does not come from content but from context.

Continue reading HERE


5 thoughts on “Humanizing the Bad Guy (or, Some Thoughts on Violence in Fiction) – by Usvaldo De Leon, Jr…

  1. I have such mixed feelings about this topic. While I firmly believe in and treasure freedom of speech/expression, I also believe authors and filmmakers bear a social responsibility– because I’ve known true violent sociopaths who copy what they see, thrilled by it, eager to use it on a person in real life. Still, I agree that humanizing the villain does make a more interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too have seen the dark (and violent) side of human nature, Teagan, and agree that sociopaths don’t deserve ‘being understood’, sympathised with or humanised, however, this article is the only one I’ve ever seen suggesting the concept, so thought I’d spread it around and encourage discussion with Usvaldo over at the original post. 🦍🤗❤️

      Liked by 1 person


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