So throughout Blogmas I’ve got a lot of posts planned that are essentially just a list, you know the kind I mean; Christmas reads, best books of the year, book gift ideas and so on and so forth. That being said there are only so many lists a lady can write (that’s a joke by the way, all of the lists, I’ll write them all!) so I thought while I’m fairly new to blogging it might be fun to mix in a few other bits and bobs and Christmas being a time for family and community I thought it was the perfect time to try my hand at a community topic discussion.
This weeks topic: Redemption Arc’s
Do you like them?
Who doesn’t? It’s one of the most satisfying story arcs out there getting to watch a character, sometimes not even the main character, going through an epic journey of either self discovery or experiencing a single pivotal moment that makes them realise they need to buck up and stop being an idiot.
Love em or hate em I think redemption arcs are a mainstay in storytelling and I for one am not at all upset about it.
What makes a good redemption arc?
There are different levels of redemption arc from the softer kind of school bad boy falls for the quiet girl and in the process realises he needs to change his ways to full on Darth Vader. Despite this they do all offer up a similar experience to the reader so why can’t we all get enough of bad guy/girl/creature gone good? For me at least it’s because of the Why.
It’s all about that fundamental reason that makes the character see the error of his ways. A classic example for this time of year would be Ebenezer Scrooge who as we all know gets confronted with the solid proof of what a colossal arsehole he’s become and realises he doesn’t like what he’s seeing. This then brings about a drastic change in his life as he rediscovers the joys he’d forgotten along the way.
Alternatively we’ve got the kinds of redemption Arcs of characters who are stuck in a difficult situation and quickly come to realise that they want out because they don’t like who they’re becoming. These are some of my favourite kinds of redemption arcs because you just know your in for a gritty, sometimes bloody and often heart breaking journey while they fight their way to the other side. More often than not you can find these in books centred on a war, for example Akiva in Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
What are your favourites?
Artemis Fowl himself as he changes from cold criminal mastermind to someone with a little bit more humanity. Even if he has to be taught all about it by fairies.
Edmund. In fact, you can say the same for Eustace in the The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favourite of the series). Both are excellent examples of characters who come into their own after realising they can’t carry on acting the way they were.
Now, I wouldn’t be me if I passed up a chance to mention one of my favourite literary felines. Moggett redeems himself in the end even if throughout the books he occasionally tries to murder people.
Can any characters be redeemed or are some too far gone?
I can’t think of any bad examples but I think that in theory any character can be redeemed however I would say that not all of them should be.
Far too often I think some authors can be so focused on the happy ending the they can completely ruin a characters integrity in the process of tying up all those loose ends. Sometimes, I wouldn’t mind a story ending on a negative note if it meant it packed a punch. Endings are just as important as the rest of the book in my opinion and I hate hewn things get wrapped up too neatly for the sake of keeping everybody happy.
Actually I’m changing my mind on the example so long as you don’t mind a reference outside of the literary world. A good example of a character where I didn’t like the redemption story because of how it all ended and who ultimately I think should have stayed bad?
Don’t hate me.
Well that’s all from this one! I actually had a really good time mulling these questions over so much so that I’m posting a hell of a lot later that I was planning to on a Friday night. If you take part in any fun weekly/monthly memes or group discussion that you think I’d like, let me know all about them!
You can find the rest of this months Let’s Talk Bookish topics here:
See you in the next one folks,